The magical attribute of butternut squash is its inherent sweetness. When roasted, butternut squash’s natural sugars caramelize, intensifying its flavor, and turning this humble vegetable into something sublime.
The sage leaves and unpeeled garlic cloves that are roasted along with the squash slices bring additional layers of flavor to this otherwise unfussy dish.
Serve the slices as a side vegetable, or use them in lieu of the fennel-roasted apples in this autumn harvest salad. Either way, butternut squash is one of those vegetables that make you look forward to winter’s flavors.
Roasted butternut squash with garlic and sage
active time: 20 min
- 1 medium butternut squash (2 lbs) (905 g) – peeled (use vegetable hand-peeler), seeds scooped out and cut in 1/4″ thick x 3″ long slices
- 16 large fresh sage leaves
- 8 large garlic cloves – unpeeled and left whole
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large non-stick jelly roll pan
- Preheat oven to 450ºF (230ºC).
- Step 1: Place the butternut squash slices in the center of the pan. Sprinkle with the sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss well. Arrange slices in a singe layer, tucking the sage and garlic in between the slices, and bake for 20 minutes.
- Step 2: Remove from oven, carefully flip each slice so as not to break them. Return to oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden-brown at the edges. Remove garlic cloves and discard. Place the slices on a serving tray. Garnish with the sage leaves and serve immediately.
- Cook’s note: The squash can be sliced up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated in Ziploc bags. Bake up to 6 hours ahead and reheat at 450ºF (230ºC) for 4 to 5 minutes until hot.