Butternut squash is so simple, there’s nothing not to love! This recipe uses the bulbous end of the squash – I reserve the rest of it for another dish, such as Butternut Squash with Kale (coming soon to the blog). The neck of the squash is easy to peel and cube, but the round end is more suitable for holding butter and other goodies.
To get started, preheat the oven to 400F.
If working with a whole squash, cut the squash a bit above the bulbous end. Reserve the neck for another day. (It seems to keep well for several days in the refrigerator.)
Split the fat-end of the squash then scoop out the seeds and stringy parts with a spoon.
Line a shallow roasting pan with aluminum foil, dull side up (less sticky). This sweet squash tends to ooze sticky stuff while cooking, and your cleaner-upper will really appreciate not having to scrub the pan. Spray the foil with olive oil or cooking spray.
Spray or brush the edges and inside of the squash lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then place cut-side down on the foil. (Not pictured…who wants to see the bottom-side of a squash.) Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
While that is happening, gather your ingredients.
- Mixed dried fruits (I used a mixture of cherries, cranberries and blueberries from Whole Foods)
- Walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Cinnamon and/or nutmeg
After the squash has baked for about 30 minutes, take it out and flip it over (cut-side up). It should have some nice caramelization around the edges. Add about a tablespoon of butter, brush it around the edges, and stick it back in the oven for another 20 minutes or so.
Then take it back out, add the desired amount of nuts and berries, sprinkle with a little cinnamon and/or nutmeg, and put it back in the oven. Cooking time will vary with the size of the squash you are using – but it’s done when the flesh is tender and offers no resistance to being forked.
Sorta like the DJ!
Here it is served up with a cumin-dusted pork chop!
Country night on the stereo, starting off with a house favorite:
The classic Sweetheart of the Rodeo, the only album Gram Parsons made with the Byrds before he ran off with the Stones. A true desert island record.
And for a bit of bluegrass, which goes so good with squash for some reason:
Live at the Cellar Door by the legendary Seldom Scene. Take a listen to their version of Dylan’s “Baby Blue”, just beautiful.
Sorta like the cook!