Roasted Butternut Squash
As the leaves change color, the days get darker and a welcome chill fills the mid-Atlantic air, it is a perfect time to break out the seasonal fall favorites. From the earliest of childhood memories, roasted sweet potatoes, yams, squashes and root vegetables made their way to our table. Here is one of those simple, favorite recipes to add to your repertoire and maybe find its way into your upcoming Thanksgiving feast. Allowing the butter to brown adds a creamy nutty flavor to the sweet, earthy squash and the fresh grated nutmeg at the ends provides a perfect seasonal punch.
1 each small-medium butternut squash
2 tablespoons of butter divided equally in two portions
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 – 8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 each whole nutmeg
kosher salt and black pepper
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of cardamom
I prefer to use the heat up time of your oven for the roasting of the squash. Low temperatures for a longer time will allow you to cook through consistently without charring. Some charring is desired and it adds a caramelized toasty flavor but with too much it can turn bitter quickly.
Trim the top and root section off on the squash. Leave the skin on. Split the butternut lengthwise in half and using a spoon, clean out the seeds and fibers. Slice the squash into 8 equal wedges and place in a mixing bowl.
Preheat your cast iron skillet or similar roasting pan in the Forno Bravo oven.
Combine the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of butter, thyme, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cardamom in a small sauté pan. Let ingredients steep over low heat until the butter is melted, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately spoon the butter-olive mixture over the butternut squash and toss to ensure ingredients are incorporated and cover the squash.
Place the butternut squash into your cast iron and place in the oven. After about 20-25 minutes as the squash begins to cook through and become tender, add the remaining tablespoon of butter and gently toss through out. Return to oven and continue to cook for and additional 10-15 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender though out, the butter has browned. Remove from oven, and serve. Spoon any residual brown butter over the top and using a microplane grate a small amount of nutmeg over the top.
For a variation substitute sage for the thyme and add a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest or parmesan chees to the end. Hope you enjoy … until next week feat well