I’ve never been a huge fan of butternut squash, but because it’s healthy and economical, I tend to still make about 1 per year. I have always made a sweet version with either brown sugar or maple syrup, and usually think it has an “off” taste.
The most recent time, however, I made a savory roasted version, and actually liked it! When something is good enough that I’m sneaking bites as I put away the leftovers, I know that I’ll use the recipe again, and more than once per year. 😉 So, here is my “recipe” for those of you want to try another way to serve butternut squash. I forgot to use my camera during the first part; sorry that there aren’t pictures for the beginning steps!
Roasted Butternut Squash
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Rinse your squash to avoid any cross-contamination during the cutting process.
Carefully use a sharp knife to cut it in half, lengthwise. Winter squashes tend to be very hard, so the knife can easily slip!
Scoop the seeds out of the cavity. You can save and roast these seeds just like pumpkin seeds if you like.
Peel the squash. My serrated peeler works really well for this, since the outside of the squash tends to get slippery when peeled. You can also eat the peel, or remove it after cooking, but I prefer the texture when cooked without it.
Cut into large french fry-like pieces, about 1/2 inch wide. Place on a baking sheet.
Drizzle the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. You can always use the fine-ground stuff, but again, I like the texture. Here’s a tip for those few of you who like me don’t have a great pepper grinder, but have a mortar and pestle: use it to grind the pepper.
Toss the squash to coat, and spread out so they aren’t too crowded.
Place in the 450 degree oven and roast for 15 minutes (if you made your pieces smaller or larger than mine, you might need to adjust this time). Yes, 450 is really hot, but I’ve found when roasting veggies, hotter is usually better!
After 15 minutes, the pieces should be sizzling and softening up a bit. Turn them over and put back into the oven.
Bake for another 10-15 (or more!) minutes, depending on how large your pieces are and how brown you like them. I like mine with some nice browning on the edges; it gives some nice caramelized flavor and texture. Noticing a trend here? Texture really matters to me. Mine went for 15 minutes.
Serve, and enjoy!