I’ve had this squash sitting on my counter for what must be nearly a month now. People kept telling me that squash is delicious, but after trying it a few times, a few different ways, I just couldn’t get into it. That dang squash on the counter was taunting me so I finally decided to do something about it. I flipped through a couple of my cookbooks and inspiration struck when I saw maple-roasted butternut squash in Ina Garten’s Back to Basics. This was my turning point, when I finally discovered what people were talking about… squash is delicious!As with most of my favorite recipes (this is sure to become one) maple-roasted butternut squash one is simple. Simply coat the chunks of squash with maple syrup and olive oil, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and toss in a head of garlic for good luck. Then about 20 minutes later, add some pancetta bits and rosemary, and let it cook for another 20 minutes. You’re kitchen will fill with the glorious smells of mapley garlic goodness.
When my timer finally buzzed, Aaron and I were ready to dig in. I brought some bread so we could spread the roasted garlic over it, something that I can’t believe I’ve never done before. When I took my first bite it was love. That’s it! That’s what everyone is talking about! The squash was incredibly tender, but not mushy and had a lovely savory flavor with a hint sweetness. The little crispy, salty pancetta bits bring a nice contrast to the the flavor and texture of the squash. Next weekend, I’ll be sure to pick up a butternut squash, but this time it won’t sit on the counter for a month.
maple-roasted butternut squash recipe :
serves 4-6 as a side, 2 as a meal
adapted from Ina Garten’s Back to Basics
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopping into 1-inch cubes
1 head of garlic, separated but not peeled
2 T olive oil
2 1/2 T maple syrup
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
2 oz thinly sliced pancetta
1 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
french bread, for serving
Preheat oven to 400°
Place the squash and the whole unpeeled garlic cloves in a bowl.
Toss with olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
Arrange on a sheet pan in a single layer and bake for 20-30 minutes, until squash begins to brown, turning once while baking.
Sprinkle the pancetta and the rosemary evenly over the squash and continue to bake for 20-30 minutes, until the squash and garlic are tender and caramelized.
Season to tase and serve hot with French bread to spread with the roasted garlic.