The tendency in cooking butternut squash is to go sweet, enhancing the vegetable's natural characteristics with maple syrup, brown sugar, apples and baking spices.
This side dish takes another tack, using herbes de Provence, a mixture that usually includes basil, thyme, lavender, rosemary, sage, summer savory, thyme and/or fennel seeds.
Cutting butternut squash can be a challenge. This recipe calls for small squash that are easy to prep. If you can't find them, larger squash may be used.
- 3 small butternut squash, about 8 ounces each (a total of 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 to 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence (see headnote)
- 1/3 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Slice off the stem and root ends of each squash. Working with one at a time, stand the squash on its root end. Cut the squash in half vertically from top to bottom, then cut each half into 2 or 3 wedges, discarding the seeds in each wedge. Repeat with the remaining squash. (The squash can be peeled, if desired.)
Place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet and toss with the oil until well coated, then arrange so that the wedges' points are facing upward. Sprinkle with the herbes de Provence (crushing them between your fingers as you work) and salt, then season with pepper to taste. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and let the wedges roast for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on their size), until they are fork-tender and starting to brown. Let sit for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before serving. (As the squash is eaten, it is scraped off its baked skin.)
From In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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