Food · Sides

The Goal is Scrumptious: Roasted Butternut Squash 

The first time I had ever heard of a butternut squash, my family was discussing our favorite food ever.

I’m not talking about a recurring meal.  Those are the favorite foods that you request for your birthday dinner or when you drive home from college.  Those are dishes like homemade pizza with mom’s special sauce, broccoli potato casserole, and the cheese soup from Bible quiz meets (I’ll share this recipe someday).  And they are good.  Really good.

But this discussion was different.

In this particular conversation, the question was, what is the best meal you have EVER eaten?  The single most wonderful dish you have EVER tasted?

Was it a specialty Italian pasta?  Was it authentic Mexican on a missions trip?  Was it an incredible meatloaf your roommate made smothered in a roasted red pepper sauce made from scratch?  (This last one is definitely in my list of most wonderful dishes.)

My dad’s answer was a butternut squash soup with truffle oil.

He ordered it at a restaurant on a business trip many years ago, and it has been the best thing he has ever eaten for over a decade.

That means, in his last 11,000 meals or more, he has not found a dish that trumped that butternut squash soup with truffle oil.

That always confounds me.  A soup?  Really?  The best thing he’s EVER eaten?  And a soup made with SQUASH?  He’s always been more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy.

But, because of his experience, I have always been intrigued by the butternut squash.

I had never tried it myself.  So this week, I decided it was time.

Still on my quest for veggies, and thinking of my dad’s story, I purchased my very first butternut squash.

My sister, our family vegetarian, gave me some tips on cutting the squash.  The bottom is rounder and contains seeds, like a pumpkin.  She told me to cut the bottom off, cut it in half, and scoop out the seeds.  Then she recommended standing up the taller portion on the cutting board and peeling it with a knife instead of a peeler.

Roasted Butternut Squash (peeling) @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

This prevents handling the slick surface of the peeled squash.  I did the same with the rounded bottom after I scooped out the seeds.

 

Then I diced the squash up into beautifully orange cubes for roasting.

The Goal is Scrumptious: Roasted Butternut Squash @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

Then I added in oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, according to a recipe.

Butternut squash, diced and spiced @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

Unfortunately, the roasted squash did not turn out as hoped.  It was both too salty and too peppery.  I cut the squash into smaller pieces than the recipe called for, so it was done (in fact, overdone) in half the time.

Butternut squash @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com
A little overdone…

For next time:

  • I’ll use a dash or two of cayenne pepper, and no more than 1/2 tsp (table) salt.
  • I’ll check the squash at 15 minutes and I’ll knock the oven temp down a little to prevent burning.

Though it was less than scrumptious this time, I think we’ll love roasted butternut squash when I get the spices and cooking time right.  The texture and underlying flavor of the squash itself were excellent.  I look forward to trying this again!

Ready to roast butternut squash @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

Does anybody have a great recipe for butternut squash?  Has anybody tried a great butternut squash soup?

And what is the single most wonderful dish YOU have ever tasted?

Have a scrumptious day!

~Katie

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16 thoughts on “The Goal is Scrumptious: Roasted Butternut Squash 

  1. Oh no! If you have leftovers, you can try making soup: caramelize some onions, add the squash + some stock or water, simmer until everything’s very soft, blend/puree, then maybe add a splash of cream. The stock/water might help balance out the salt and pepper.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love butternut squash! I was going to suggest soup too, but someone else already did. I add apples to my soup and it is so good. Also, if you purée it, you can add it to mac n cheese. My son used to be such a picky eater–the worst!– so I would sneak some puréed squash into his mac n cheese. He never noticed but still got all the nutrients from the veggie. He’s much better now (my daughter has always been a good eater) and both my kids love roasted butternut squash on its own!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And although I’ve never tried all of those spices (and they really do sound delicious, especially with truffle oil), I will say my favorite way to have a butternut squash’s is cut in half and bait with brown sugar and butter. And usually when roasting I cut the cubes in about 1 to 1 1/2 inches and just toss with olive oil and a little salt and roast at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We don’t use sugar with it; usually salt and pepper, possibly some sage or try Harissa for a spicy flavour. We use it in soup or have it with pasta. Weird, right? Try it with a bit of ricotta cheese. Yummy. Or in an omelette with chorizo.

    Liked by 1 person

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