Thursday, October 14, 2010

Adventures in Cooking: Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar

The other night at work, during the fuzzy hours between 2 and 3 am, I was having a conversation about vegetables with my friend. We were discussing her Dad’s homemade pumpkin empanadas (I was drooling) and I was telling her how I received a surprise butternut squash in my CSA share that week. The next morning after catching some Zs, I was determined to work some magic on my butternut squash. I have made butternut squash a handful of times. Most recipes call for brown sugar which I try to stay away from, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found this roasted butternut squash recipe at Padma’s Kitchen. I added a few twists to her recipe, as I do to most recipes, and came up with a mouth watering, good for you, recipe that screams fall.


• 1 butternut squash. The recipe calls for a “medium” sized squash. If I was in the field of judging the size of butternut squashes, I would say mine was large. No big deal, just add more time and a little more of the remaining ingredients.

• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. I just pour until it looks like enough. Pouring olive oil is pretty fun now that I have my Dutch olive oil container.

• 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Depending on your tastes you can add a little more.

• 1 tsp rosemary, finely chopped. I happened to have fresh rosemary from our CSA, which made me very happy. Don’t overdo the rosemary. No one likes an overkill of rosemary.

• Sea salt as desired

• Freshly ground black pepper

• A teaspoonish of nutmeg. This was my addition. It gives it that extra fall taste and makes you say, “Hmmm what is that?”

• A few pats of unsalted Kerrygold butter. If you are wondering why I use Kerrygold butter click this link for a fun little Paleo explanation:


• Preheat oven to 400°F [200°C]. Cut the butternut squash in half and peel it with a knife. This was the worst part. The skin is very tough. I may be purchasing a new knife set rather soon. Cut into bite size pieces or you can use readymade store bought butternut squash. However, I have no idea where you can find the readymade store bought kind…

• Toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt, rosemary, balsamic vinegar, nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper. Spread them in a single layer either on a cookie sheet or large dish.

• Roast until squash turns soft and lightly caramelized about 40 minutes in the oven. For the large squash I added 10 minutes to my time

• Remove from oven add a small splash of additional balsamic vinegar, a few pats of Kerrygold butter, and if you want more salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Enjoy it while it is warm. It makes a great side dish with eggs for breakfast or accompanied with pork chops for dinner. It can be stored easily in the refrigerator and heats up nicely in the microwave. I even enjoyed it cold. Yum.

My main secret to cooking is to taste things along the way. If it needs more rosemary add some. More butter? Go ahead. I rarely follow recipes to a tee, which is probably why I’m not the best baker. This recipe can probably be morphed into many amazing possibilities, just give it a try. Even if something doesn’t taste amazing, my bottomless pit of a husband will eat it and if that plan fails there’s always the dogs.

Butternut Squash...and my other addiction avocados

The insides...

It's not a cookie sheet, but it worked just fine

Spice and everything nice

I need a food stylist

1 comment:

  1. Sounds great, but I want a taste first. Please arrange a time.