The Weekend Dish – Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

There is something about eating seasonally that just makes sense. It’s better for the environment (no shipping produce far distances). The cost of seasonal produce is usually less because there is a relative abundance of it during it’s local season. Since shipping from other parts of the world or hothouse growing are unnecessary it has the added benefit of tasting better too. Even though we are accused of not having seasons here in California, the number of tomatoes in our garden is slowly dwindling and squash are in the markets and community gardens.

_MG_2396I find I crave seasonal foods during their season. It’s fall here and that means squash. This squash dish pairs well with many main dishes: poultry, fish, and beef for a few. The hardest part of this recipe is preparing the squash for the oven.

First, cut open the squash and scrape out the seeds.

_MG_2407Next, peel it.

_MG_2409Finally, cut into about 1-inch sized cubes.

_MG_2415 Place the cut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and add olive oil and maple syrup – I like to incorporate the oil by mixing it with my hands (after washing thoroughly of course).

_MG_2420After adding the seasonings and baking, filling your home with the smells of fall, you will be rewarded with a scrumptious, versatile side dish.

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Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 1 medium butternut squash – seeded, peeled and cubed into 1- inch sized cubes
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion cut into small-medium sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, I like the real maple syrup
  • 2 tsp dried sage, I like sage a lot, you can adjust this to your tastes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°.  Add squash, onion, olive oil and maple syrup to rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and stir with hands, or spoon, to coat the vegetables with the oil and syrup. Add the seasonings and stir a bit more to distribute evenly. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until squash is soft and beginning to caramelize a bit. Serves 6-8.

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This would make a nice Thanksgiving side also. Here’s another squash recipe from earlier this year if you are feeling like variety in your seasonal vegetables.

Bon Appetit,

~ Susan