Sunday, September 29, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash

butternut squash*
olive oil and/or butter
herbs, spices, other seasonings - suggestions pictured and below

* Other firm squash would also work (acorn squash, kabocha, pumpkin). Smaller squash (like pattypan) or a softer squash (like zucchini) would need much less cooking time, but the same method would work.

Preheat oven to 375°. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil or coat with non-stick cooking spray.
Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise. (You can remove the ends if it's easier. I cut the top off mine.) Scoop out the seeds using a spoon. Place the halves cut-side down on the baking sheet. Bake 30-35 minutes until squash is just tender.
Remove from oven. Use tongs to turn squash cut-side up. Drizzle with olive oil or dot with butter. Season with salt. Sprinkle with your choice of herbs, spices or other seasonings. Return to oven for an additional 10-20 minutes until the top of the squash just begins to brown. If the squash is fully cooked yet not browned, use the broiler for just a couple minutes before serving.

Pictured: One squash I dotted with butter and seasoned with brown sugar, a little cinnamon and just a dash of cayenne; the other I drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with a little minced garlic, and fresh chopped rosemary.  Try curry powder, splashed with a little coconut milk if you have it, or topped with coconut flakes to toast brown at the last couple minutes. Any combination of pepper/herbs/spices that you like! I sprinkle the seasonings generously as it's only on the surface. You can eat the cooked squash with a spoon, scooping right out of the shell, and I want enough seasoning to distribute through the depth of the squash.

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