Whole foods, prepared simply are tasty and healthy. Perfect for fall dinners, butternut squash is peeled, diced and tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and sage, then roasted. Finish with a splash of Balsamic vinegar for a wonderful fall or Thanksgiving side dish. Don’t know how to handle a butternut squash? Read on. I’ll help you.
Butternut Squash Health Benefits
Packed with vitamins A, C, and B6, plus fiber and important minerals, butternut squash is a great choice for fall, winter, and holiday menus. And with that brilliant orange color, you know butternut squash is an outstanding source of antioxidant and offers anti-inflammatory benefits.
How to Handle Butternut Squash
With a funny shape, sort of like a fat, squat bowling pin, butternut squash can be a little intimidating to handle. But don’t be intimidated. I’ll show you how to cut one up, then roast it for a flavorful fall vegetable side dish you’ll love.
You’ll need a heavy, sharp 9″-10″ chefs knife to tackle this job. First, cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of the squash. Then cut the squash across where the neck area and bulb bottom come together. Next, use a vegetable peeler to peel the outer tough skin. An inexpensive Y-peeler works best for me.
Stand the neck piece on end and slice it into 1″ wide slices or planks, then dice into approximately 1″ cubes. For the bulb base, cut it in half top to bottom and with a spoon, cleanly scoop out the fibrous seeds. Dice the bulb part as best you can into 1″ cubes.
Place butternut squash cubes into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and fresh chopped sage leaves. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet (half sheet size) and bake at 400° (204 C) for about 25 minutes, until tender when pierced with the top of a sharp knife. When it’s done, sprinkle with a little Balsamic vinegar or syrup if desired for extra flavor and a burnished color.
Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 medium butternut squash, about 2 3/4 pounds (1 .25 kilos)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage leaves (or rosemary)
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Balsamic vinegar or syrup, to finish (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 400° (204 C)
- Cut up the squash – Using a heavy, sharp 9″-10″ chefs knife, slice a thin piece from the top and bottom of the squash. Next, cut across the squash where the neck and bulb meet. Using a sharp vegetable peeler (Y-peelers are easiest), peel the squash. Stand the neck portion on end and cut in half, then into 1″ wide slices or planks. Next dice into 1″ pieces. For the bulb, scoop out the seeds cleanly with a spoon, then slice and dice the pieces as for the neck piece.
- Place squash cubes in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Dump cubes onto a foil lined rimmed baking sheet and roast until cubes are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 25 minutes. Cubes should be golden and a bit browned at the edges. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar or syrup when serving if desired.
Other Helpful Links
Nutritional benefits of winter squash, from Worlds Healthiest Foods
Try this butternut-apple soup as an additional recipe
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