Roasting butternut squash brings out its natural sweetness, and then a bit of brown sugar and maple syrup enhance the flavor even more. You end up with caramelized chunks of soft, fragrant squash that are lovely on the plate.
Some days I am peeling and cubing my own squash, which I like the best because the color is usually brighter and the vegetable is freshest. But believe you me I do not snootily pass buy packages of pre-cut squash when I am in a hurry or feeding a large crowd. I haven’t ever bought pre-chopped onions (not judging just saying), but precut squash is a shortcut I can easily get behind.
This is a terrific autumnal or holiday side dish.
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- 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cubed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- About 12 whole sage leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle over the melted butter, sprinkle over the sugar and sage leaves. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet, allowing space in between the cubes when possible, and making sure the sage leaves are somewhat evenly distributed.
- Roast for about 25 minutes until tender and lightly browned on the bottom. Drizzle over the maple syrup and use a spatula to toss the squash with the syrup, and spread it back out on the baking sheet. Roast for another 10 or so minutes, until it is caramelized in spots and very tender. Serve hot or warm.
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