Thursday, October 23, 2008

Recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash with Lemon, Thyme, and Parmesan

Roasted Butternut Squash with Lemon, Thyme, and Parmesan
I loved this Roasted Butternut Squash with Lemon, Thyme, and Parmesan.

I recently shared tips for how to peel and cut up a butternut squash, and this recipe is the successful experiment I made with the squash. I learned to love butternut squash when my Grandmother Denny would roast it in foil, then mash with lots of butter, Vege-Sal, and pepper. Nowdays I love experimenting with ways to make butternut squash taste good without butter, and squash cubes roasted in olive oil are tasty no matter what seasonings you add. This version, roasted with lemon juice and thyme and then tossed with just the tiniest amount of finely grated parmesan, was so good that after I took these photos, I ate most of it with my fingers while the photos downloaded!

I picked thyme for the recipe partly because I had a lot in my herb garden, but it paired well with the squash and thyme really is an herb I feel get overlooked sometimes. Of course it's good in chicken soup, but I've loved it in a variety of dishes like Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Farro with Mushrooms, Roasted Carrots, Brown and Wild Rice, and South Beach Diet friendly Stuffing. This herby butternut squash recipe with lemon and parmesan is my offering for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Laurie from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska this week. If you'd like to join in, here's where to find all the WHB information.

Thyme happens to be the herb I used last year for the Doubly Delish edition of Weekend Herb Blogging. Time flies, and next week we'll be celebrating three years of blogging about herbs and plants. Check back on Monday, October 27, to hear about the amazing prizes that three lucky people will win just by telling their favorite herb, vegetable, or fruit in a comment. For the anniversary event, we'll be asking for entries featuring your favorite herb, vegetable, or fruit of 2008. I'll also be making a big announcement about the future of Weekend Herb Blogging, so don't miss it.

Now, on to the roasted squash recipe. Fresh thyme is probably pretty important here, although you could certainly use frozen thyme if you have some. If you only have dried thyme, I'd crush it with a mortar and pestle or heavy knife.

Before I started cutting the squash, I combined the olive oil, lemon juice, and thyme, and let them hang out together so the thyme flavor could get infused into the oil a bit.

Read my step-by-step instructions for how to peel and cut up a butternut squash if you haven't done it. Peel the squash, then cut into pieces that are about an inch square. Put squash cubes into a bowl and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, thyme mixture.

Place cubes into a crockery roasting dish or on a metal roasting sheet and roast at 450F for about 45 minutes, or until squash is starting to brown and carmelize on the edges. I turned it a few times. Remove from dish and toss with 2 T finely grated parmesan, then try to keep from gobbling it all up before anyone else can have some.


Roasted Butternut Squash with Lemon, Thyme, and Parmesan
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

Ingredients:
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into pieces about 1 inch square (about 6 cups squash cubes)
2 T fresh thyme leaves (or use 1 T dried thyme)
2 T olive oil (or slightly less if desired)
2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 T freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450F. Spray roasting dish or pan with non-stick spray or mist with olive oil. Wash thyme leaves and spin dry or dry with paper towels. (If using dried thyme, chop finely with chef's knife. In small bowl, combine thyme, olive oil, and lemon juice and let sit while you chop squash.

Peel squash and cut into cubes about 1 inch square. Put squash into plastic bowl, then toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme mixture. Arrange squash squash in a single layer on roasting pan.

Roast squash about 45 minutes, turning a couple of times. Squash is done when edges are starting to brown and carmelize and all pieces are soft. Remove squash from oven. Wipe out the plastic bowl you used earlier with a paper towel, then put squash cubes into bowl and toss gently with the Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.

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South Beach Suggestions:
I remember how excited I was a few years ago when I found butternut squash listed as an option for phase two in The South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook, because before that I thought it wasn't approved for the South Beach Diet. Olive oil is considered a "good fat" for South Beach, but do be moderate with the amount of parmesan cheese.

More Ideas with Roasted Butternut Squash:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar
Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage
Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime and Rosemary
Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices
Roasted Butternut Squash from Well Fed
Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Apples from Culinary Cory
Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad from The Kitchen Illiterate
Roasted Butternut Squash and Fennel from Kirsten's Home Cooking

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34 comments:

  1. I really like the different flavors in this - we're so used to very savory flavors with butternut squash, but the lemon and thyme sounds very bright and refreshing. It's my favority squash of the season!

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  2. TW, my very favorite type of squash too! I really loved this. (Of course I don't know if I've ever had a bad dish with butternut squash!)

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  3. I love butter nut squash. I'll have to make this. thanks for sharing!

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  4. I love butternut squash all ways this time of year. Thanks for the new idea!

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  5. Wow--what a beautiful picture! I love butternut squash and am intrigued with the lemon and thyme in this recipe. I am sure it is wonderful!! I have fresh thyme, so I have this on my list to make this week! Thanks for sharing! I am so happy to stumble upon your site! It's awesome!

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  6. Roasted squash is my absolute favorite! I need to make it soon!

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  7. That looks so great - I confess that I have never made butternut at home this recipe has just inspired my to give it a try!!

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  8. Thyme is the herb that gets the most use in my kitchen, so much so that I have five English thyme plants in my herb garden! I also grow lemon thyme, which I think would be just perfect in this dish as it would add even more delicious lemon flavor to the sweetness of the roasted squash.

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  9. Butternut squash is one of my absolute favorites :) This recipe looks delicious.

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  10. Lydia is right on the money with the suggestion that lemon thyme would be especially good in this. Lydia, I was actually wishing I had some lemon thyme when I made it. Next year, lemon thyme in the herb garden for sure!

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  11. I just roasted some butternut squash last night! I plan on using it in a fall-inspired salad with pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and pears.

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  12. Thyme and Basil are two that I always have more than one variety of and both are so worth the real estate in the garden.

    This squash looks like nugets of gold; gold would be happy in the pocket, these would be so happy on the tongue and in the tummy. How silly but true.

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  13. ... another 'good as it gets' recipe. I'm with you regarding thyme ~ love it! Thanks Kalyn!

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  14. It seems like there are a lot of thyme fans out there!

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  15. Nice way to enjoy some butternut squash!

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  16. Great ideas for using butternut squash. Thanks for including my Roasted Butternut Squash with Sweet Apple recipe to your list.

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  17. Wow! This is so perfect for the butternut squash I have on my kitchen counter! I will definitely try this out. It sounds so delicious and nutritious too ;)

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  18. this looks AMAZING! I learned the fine art of roasting squash of all kinds while doing the low-carb thing, and will never go back! But yeah, the butter is kind of a deal breaker LOL So this - YUM! LOL Thank you for sharing, of course.

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  19. I always use sage with squash, I'm going to have to give thyme a try!

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  20. Your butternut squash looks great. I roasted mine with sage a couple weeks back for a risotto. It also came out well.

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  21. This recipe sounds absolutely fabulous. I'm loving the lemon and thyme in it. I just used a recipe from Provence that calls for cutting, seeding, baking and then peeling and guess what? It worked really well! Who knew? I was able to cube the squash after peeling.

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  22. Oh, yum, yum, yum. This is wonderful. And I have all the ingredients! Thyme still hanging on, on the patio! Always looking for butternut squash ideas, so thanks.

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  23. That dish looks wonderful! A gorgeous combination of flavors! Extremely yummy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  24. I just made this & it's wonderful! Thank you so much, this is a new favorite!

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  25. Anonymous, thanks for taking time to let me know you liked it!

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  26. I roasted butternut squash with lemon and thyme recently, but sadly no parmesan cheese. I'll remember your tip next time :)

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  27. I loved this! It was so easy, and so good. Butternut squash is my favorite vegetable, so I'm always looking for new ways to cook it.

    I linked to this recipe on my (new) blog: http://emily-catherine.blogspot.com.

    I will definitely be making this for Thanksgiving!

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  28. Emily, glad you liked it. I definitely had Thanksgiving in mind when I was making it too!

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  29. In the end, I went Thai-style with the squash, as I had a mess of cilantro to use up. And it was yummy. But I am definitely trying your recipe next; thyme still hanging on on the patio!

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  30. Excellent recipe - if there are leftovers, the squash makes a superb soup. Just simmer with chicken or turkey broth, cinnamon, cumin, curry and some canned pumpkin. When thoroughly simmered (at least 30 minutes), run through a blender. Then heat again on stove and add some cream (if desired). Delicious way to use the leftovers!

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  31. Anonymous, what a fabulous ideas to turn the leftover squash into soup! Brilliant!

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  32. This is SO good. Instead of Parmesan cheese, I just sprinkled some lemon pepper on before baking and after I flipped them over, and it was perfect.

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  33. Anonymous, glad you liked it and I think lemon pepper on roasted squash sounds great, thanks for sharing that idea.

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