caramelized butternut squash + how to cut a butternut squash

I wish all vegetables could taste like this. Sweet and tender and kind of like it deserves to be a filling in a pie. So…like a fruit then?

The best is when you scoop up the slightly charred pieces in the corners of the roasting pan – they’re crunchy and candy-like. Though I guess that’s to be expected when you roast something in butter and sugar.

Caramelized Butternut Squash (adapted from Ina Garten
3-5 servings

1 medium to large squash, peeled and cubed in roughly 1 1/4 inch pieces (see directions below)
4-5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Sprinkling of brown sugar (just enough so that each piece is lightly coated)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the squash on a baking sheet in a single layer and add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
Toss to coat.
Roast for 45-50 minutes, until squash is soft and caramelized. Turn and toss squash a couple of times within the 45-50 minutes for even browning.

I like to buy butternut squash whole. It’s cheaper than purchasing pre-cut and I don’t mind spending the extra time it takes to peel and cube it. All it takes is a vegetable peeler, a sharp chef’s knife, a bit of elbow grease and a lot of caution.

After cutting off the about 1/4 inch off the top and bottom of the squash, peel the skin using a vegetable peeler to peel the skin, cut the squash length-wise*.

1. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and membrane.
2. Turn the squash over for stability and cut both sections in half, width-wise at its waist (at its most narrow point). You should have 4 sections of squash now.
3. Take one section and slice length-wise. Repeat on other sections.
4. Take one section and slice width-wise, making cross cuts, resulting in cubes. Depending on how thick your squash is, you may need to make more cuts, if cubes are still too large.

*If this cut turns out to be too tough to manage, use a mallet to gently tap on the knife a little to help you through – carefully. Or just get someone stronger to do it for you (I enlisted Bob’s help with this step)!
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