Butternut squash is one of those things that until a year or two ago I had heard about but never really experimented with. It’s also one of those things I lament not having tried earlier. It’s great for a variety of things and I use it in everything from soups to chili, but to stay with the year’s trend of keeping things as simple as possible I give you butternut squash in its most perfect state; roasted.
While you can roast butternut squash in just about any fat that suits your fancy, I have several favorites. The most common are extra virgin olive oil and bacon fat, but using bacon grease overwhelms the delicate flavor of the squash and I just happened to have something a little more exotic hanging around in my fridge when I decided to make this dish.
I had goose fat.
A quick note: Halving the squash before you peel it is a real time saver as well as a convenience. It’s much easier to hold on to the squash while peeling if you have the dimple left by the seeds to hold onto while you’re removing the tough outer skin and the squash won’t want to slip all over the cutting board while you’re halving it. Once skinned, it’s a snap to slice the squash into manageable pieces for roasting.
Now I’m not saying that here’s anything wrong with olive oil and if you’re looking for a vegetarian snack or side you should most definitely use it. In my case, having one of the holy grails of roasting fats on hand was more than I could pass up and the flavors of the completed dish were just short of absolute perfection (see my notes as to why it was just short and not right on.)
- 1 large or 2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil (or fat of your choice)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut ends off squash and then cut lengthwise down the center. Remove seeds and discard. peel skin from squash using a vegetable peeler. Discard skin. Cut the squash into pieces approximately 1/2-inches in size. Place cut squash on a cookie sheet lined with nonstick foil. Drizzle with olive oil (or fat of your choice), sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn. Cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until squash is at the desired consistency.
- Drain excess oil by tilting cookie sheet with a plate or bowl for approximately 30 seconds.
- Share and enjoy!
What I would have done Differently had I thought of it at the time:
Aside from the goose fat, a bit of fresh rosemary roasted with the squash would have been magnificent!
Links to other recipes like this:
- Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe, from YumSugar
- Butternut Squash Risotto, from Elise at Simply Recipes
- Roasted butternut Squash with Lemon Thyme, and Parmesan, from Kalyn’s Kitchen