Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some Love for the Butternut Squash

Firstly, this squash is much closer to pumpkin than to zucchini.  If you don't like yellow summer squash or the regular green zucchini, don't be afraid because butternut squash is nothing like that.  Secondly, I have found that this is a great side dish, salad addition, or you could puree it for a baby's 1st food.

I was introduced to how  to make this at a cooking demonstration/class.  They used it in a honey vinegrette salad.   After making the salad myself, my husband and I were both wondering why we didn't just eat the squash because it was so good on its own.

Roasted Butternut Squash

1 Large butternut squash
1/4 cup ex. virg. olive oil
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp seasoning (Italian works well, or Poultry seasoning, or dried/ fresh sage) ***Optional

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the squash.  This is slightly difficult once you get the 1st half peeled.  My suggestion is to use a paper towel to hold the peeled side when finishing the other half.  The squash gets really slippery after you peel it and is almost impossible to grip securly.

2.) Cut the Top and bottom ends off.  Turn it up on one flat end and cut it in half.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Lay cut side down and cut in 1 inch strips, then into cubes.  This works best if you start at the bottom end so the hole is more stable.

3.) Place on a large baking sheet or in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish (something that has enough room to let it all lay in one layer.   Drizzle with the EVOO. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and seasoning.  Use your hands to toss it until all is coated.

4.) Place in oven for 15 minutes.  Toss and put it back in for 15 minutes.  Check it with a fork.  It should be VERY tender, without any hard parts.  If it isn't leave it in for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve as a side dish or add to a salad or a pasta dish.  If you wanted to use this as a baby food, eliminate the salt and pepper then put the finished cooled squash in a blender or food processor.

HERE is a recipe similar to what I made but with poultry seasoning instead of sage because I didn't have any. :)

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