Crisp breezes, apple cider and wool sweaters, autumn has finally arrived! October is my favorite month, it's when the final harvest is made of apples and myriad squash, it's when we all huddle a bit closer to keep ourselves warm and it's when the pace of life slows down just a tad so we can all savor the moment.
|Beautiful Amish lad at the West Chester Farmer's Market|
The bounty of squash currently at the farmer's market is screaming for experimentation in the kitchen. We picked up a kabocha and I found a simple recipe on Williams Sonoma's website, so simple that I never intended to write about it. After all, how many times have you seen oven-roasted squash with butter and sage? But there was something absolutely sensational about this bowl of roasted squash. The nutty browned butter and earthy sage seemed to contrast and draw sweet caramel flavors from the roasted squash, and the delicate crispy sage leaves fried in butter lent a nice contrast to the dense starchiness of the kabocha. Interestingly the sweet buttery flavors reminded me of caramel popcorn.
The original recipe calls for butternut squash, but other squash or root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips can easily be substituted.
Roasted Squash with Brown Butter and Sage
From Williams Sonoma
- 1 kabocha or butternut squash (about 3 1/4 lbs.)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 24 leaves fresh sage
- Preheat an oven to 425°F. Using a sturdy vegetable peeler, peel the squash. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the squash crosswise where the bulbous part meets the narrower part, and trim off the blossom and stem ends. Cut the bulbous part in half vertically and scrape out and discard the seeds and fibers. Cut all of the squash into 1-inch chunks. Spread the pieces on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and toss with your hands to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 15 minutes. Stir the squash and continue roasting until tender and browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven.
- In a small frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat until the foam subsides. Add the sage and cook just until the butter turns a light hazelnut brown and the sage is crisp, about 30 seconds. Immediately pour the brown butter and sage over the squash on the baking sheet and toss to coat. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve.