Before I head in to make the Sunday-morning pancakes, I thought I'd sneak in a quick post about the butternut squash dish I made yesterday. Butternut squash is one of those things I never know I want until I make one, eat it, and then want like three more. They are so creamy and delicious, and they are almost impossible to screw up in the cooking process. As is often the case with my cooking adventures, I started out thinking I was going to make one dish yesterday---butternut squash soup--but ended up making something entirely different. Mostly this happened because the roasted squash was so perfect in small slightly caramelized cubes that we didn't want to change its texture. Here's how the squash roasting went down:
I peeled the squash, sliced it down the middle, and scooped out the seeds. Ta-da, perfect little orange boats.
Next step: cube and drizzle with a little olive oil. Salt and pepper.
Your squash chunks will most likely be more uniform than mine. Good for you! I have no patience for things like that. Lol. Spread these guys on a sprayed cookie sheet and let the magic begin in a 400 degree oven. Stir them around after about 20 minutes and let them keep going until they look like the sugars in the squash are browning, sticking slightly to the pan (scrape them gently off), and there's a visual softness to them. I think I roasted for about an hour yesterday, even though the recipe said 30 minutes.
During the end of the roasting, I went for a walk with Madeline. Eve took the squash out for us and confessed she had to remove herself from the kitchen before eating the whole pan, it was that good. And, remember, it's tricky to get these people to eat stuff from the ground.
So we toyed with the idea of soup and risotto, and I really had none of the ingredients for either of those. But I did have some fresh shallots, sage, roasted garlic, and butter. Perfection! I have a terrible habit of buying sage in the fall because it screams fall flavor, and then I never make anything with it--so it was nice to actually use some of it for a change. Too much talking, time for a visual. I bet you can see how my kitchen smelled, right?!
To get this just right, turn the pan on lowish heat and let about two tablespoons of butter turn slowly light brown. If you turn away for a second it might burn. I turned away and chopped a shallot, turned back around, and the butter was just right. (Though I did have to pull it off the heat for a second because it was just about to burn.) Chop the shallot so fine that it almost melts in the butter with the roasted garlic. To not overpower the dish, take a sage leaf and just squish it through the butter for a minute. Don't leave it in there. Toss in the squash and warm through.
Here's the final shot.
This has just a little parmesan on it to contrast all the sweetness of the squash with a little salty flavor. And it is topped with some of those chopped candied pecans from the beet salad recipe below. Totally fall in a bowl.