Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Recipe Favorites: Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar

Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar
Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar is one of my favorites!

Some things are just so good you'll want to cook them over and over. That's how I've felt about this recipe ever since I first made it in November, when I suggested it as a good Thanksgiving dinner alternative to candied sweet potatoes. Not to mention that it has balsamic vinegar, which is good on so many things! If you like butternut squash at all, give this a try. I promise it will become one of your favorites too.

The only thing at all difficult about this recipe is peeling the squash. Occasionally my Costco sells pre-peeled butternut squash cubes, and I always buy some when they have it. When I'm peeling my own, I cut the squash in fourths lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and peel it with a very sharp vegetable peeler, which I find much easier than peeling with a knife.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar
(4-6 servings, adapted from a recipe by Lynn Rosetto Casper found on Foodieview.)

2 lbs. butternut squash cubes (about 6 cups)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T + 1 tsp. best quality balsamic vinegar (I love Fini brand)
1 tsp. very finely chopped fresh or frozen rosemary, or slightly less dried rosemary (be sure it's especially finely chopped if you use dried rosemary)
sea salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss squash cubes with olive oil, 1 T balsamic vinegar, and rosemary. Put on cookie sheet or dish large enough to hold it in a single layer. Roast until squash is very soft and starting to get slightly carmelized, about 40 minutes.

Remove from oven, put squash in bowl, and toss with additional 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and pepper. You can mash slightly, I kept mine rather chunky. Serve hot. This is also excellent made ahead and reheated. For a meal where there are lots of demands on the oven, it could be cooked early in the day and kept warm in a crockpot while other things bake.

South Beach Suggestions:
This would be phase two or three for the South Beach Diet. I actually avoided Butternut Squash for a long time after I started eating the lower-glycemic way, and I was so happy when I saw Butternut Squash Puree in The South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook. In my family we traditionally ate roasted butternut squash with lots of butter, so using olive oil makes this a much healthier option. This would be a great side dish for something like Milk Braised Pork Chops or Chicken with Kalamata Olives.
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  1. Wow it sounds perfectly divine! I don't have any squash on hand, but I think I might try to do it with sweet potatoes. Thanks for sharing.

  2. "Some things are just so good you'll want to cook them over and over. That's how I've felt about this recipe ever since I first made it in November" -- This is exactly how I feel about this recipe. I've been making it repeatedly as well. My husband and I both love it. He says he wishes we could always just have a bowl of roasted butternut squash cubes sitting out because it's so good you can snack on it. I admit that I've never added rosemary to it -- I don't have it on hand or like it a whole lot. But I think it's fabulous with just olive oil, high quality balsamic vinegar (I up the amount), and salt.

  3. Oh, and I forgot to share my squash cutting method. I microwave the whole squash on a plate for two minutes, then rotate it so a different part is touching the plate, microwave it again, and so forth. After probably 10 or 12 minutes in the microwave, I take it out and stick it in the fridge to cool. Then I peel it with a vegetable peeler, cut the ends off, cut it in half crosswise, cut the seed part in half, scoop out the seeds, and cube it all. It's time consuming, but I absolutely cannot cut a winter squash without microwaving it first to soften it a little.

  4. Ruth, I think sweet potatoes would be great too. In fact, I have some and plan to try it myself.

    Zoe, glad to hear you like the recipe so much. I love your method for peeling the squash, I'll try it. I do agree, it's very hard to peel. I have a very expensive peeler that I got as a gift, so I can do it with that, but it's still not easy.

  5. I made something really similar for thanksgiving last year. It is just SO yummy. (Though, mine came out a strange shade of brown because of the vinegar) I will have to try your version! Thanks!

  6. I love balsamic vinegar. I discoved this White balsamic vinegar in the store, I used it last night, I shall post the recipe shortly.

  7. I had roasted butternut squash, onions and whole garlic cloves last night, with fresh salvia. After roasting, I mixed them with penne pasta and topped them off with shaved parmesan.

    Next time I shall follow your recipe, thank you.

    (Btw, I used frozen squash, in cubes, and parchment paper on the rimmed baking sheet, to save on clean-up.)

  8. Rachael, I bet yours was great. All your food looks good.

    CC, I saw some white balsamic vinegar and I've been curious about it.

    Kristen, thanks.

    Merisi, your dish with the penne pasta and shaved parmesan sounds great! And the parchment is a very good idea.

  9. This recipe has become my favorite too. A few weeks ago, I use it to make a gluten free Tatin (with buckwheat pastry) and it was very good. Thanks for having creating it.

  10. Virginie, thanks for letting me know you liked it! You're such an inventive cook, I can see this as the starting point for a lot of good dishes.

  11. Had this tonight and really liked it--I steamed the squash first in the microwave, then mashed it and mixed in the rosemary, vinegar, olive oil and a little butter--sauteing it. Really good--I'd have never thought to use vinegar in a dish like this. Thanks for hearing.


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