Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cooking What's in Season

Butternut Squash

There is nothing more appetizing than seasonal food.  Watermelon in July, chili in February, and fresh berries in the spring.  Sure most of us eat those foods year round, but they don't get any tastier than in season.  A few of the seasonal fruits and vegetables to be on the lookout for around this time of year are:
  • Apples
  • Squash (Acorn, Butternut, etc)
  • Pumpkins
  • Pomegranates
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Okra
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes (Muscadines!)
Today I'd like to share a warm favorite served in many homes in the fall:  roasted butternut squash.  Now, I must admit, this was my first time trying my hand at this type of squash.  It came in my Farmer's Market Basket this week, so of course I had to try and do something with it.  Here's what I did:

First, I took a vegetable peeler and removed the outer layer of skin, then cut off the top and bottom like you would do a carrot.  Next I cut it in half and scooped out the 'guts'.  After that I just cut it into cubes:

After that I mixed 2 tbsp. of brown sugar, 2 tbsp. of honey, and 2 garlic cloves (minced), and put it all into a bowl.  If you like the 'salty-sweet' kind of taste, you could add 1/4 tsp. of salt at this point as well, however I left it out so each person could add it on their own if they preferred:

Then I mixed the contents of the bowl until everything was well blended and poured it onto a baking sheet lightly greased with olive oil:

I just popped it in the oven and baked it @ 400 for 30 minutes on a lower oven rack. Cook until the squash is fork tender.

 Noticed how the edges are a little caramelized. 

I served this as a side dish, with rotisserie chicken and (Racey found a brand new rotisserie cooker at Goodwill for $8.00!) a fresh green salad.

I will admit that McClane, our resident teenager and lover of most foods his mama cooks said it was totally disgusting and begged me to not cook it again!  On the other hand, Racey, one who is known for disliking most all vegetables, said it was pretty good and he would like to try it a few more times this fall to really get a taste for it.  He also said he'd like to try it mashed up like mashed potatoes with a big hunk of butter on top.  I think this is the type of food that can be prepared a number of ways, and some people will really like one way and really dislike another.  If this 'sweet' form of preparation isn't a hit with the folks in your house, don't be afraid to try it a different way.  You never know, you may stumble upon someone's next 'favorite food'.

1 comment:

  1. We make muffins and soup out of our butternut squashes! Thanks for sharing.


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