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.
Get Ready to Roast
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.
Other Helpful Links
Nutritional benefits of winter squash, from Worlds Healthiest Foods
Try this butternut-apple soup as an additional recipe