No one ever makes this recipe when I suggest it to them, EVER. The recipe is just so…, so, …odd. Mere mortals can’t put the ingredients together in their head and have any idea about how GOOD butternut squash tastes when cooked like this. For years I’ve been banging my head against a wall trying to promote this recipe. I have submitted this recipe to two community cookbooks, and no one ever called to say how wonderful the recipe was, so I know no one tried it. My family loves this, of course. These little pieces of heaven never make it to the table to be served with any meal. We just crowd around the pan and eat it hot from the oven, elbowing out anyone who gets in our way. I guess I could promote this recipe as our “Family’s Favorite Secret Recipe”, one that we are now sharing with the world. That might be more of a selling point than “No one ever makes this recipe when I suggest it to them, EVER”!
Anyway, I thought I found this recipe, a long, long time ago, in Jeffrey Steingarten’s book, The Man Who Ate Everything, but looking through the index now on Amazon I don’t see any mention of it in the index, or in the index of his other book, It Must Have Been Something I Ate. Now I am stumped, but I am still going to credit him for the recipe because I am pretty sure that’s where I found it, at least I think I am sure… I would have liked to have dreamed this up myself! I would like to think I have a palate creative enough to roast some squash pieces, then sprinkle them with a little red wine vinegar and dried mint resulting in these Little Pieces of Heaven (really, they are just that) but I am fairly certain it didn’t happen that way…
Butternut Squash : Little Pieces of Heaven
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon melted butter (or an extra tablespoon olive oil)
- a pinch of Kosher or other coarse salt (if you only have table salt, that’s fine too)
- a pinch of black pepper
- 2-3 teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar or Raspberry Vinegar
- a pinch of Dried Mint
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put rimmed baking sheet in oven to preheat, too.
- Peel and seed the squash. Cut squash into bite sized pieces. (I like to slice the squash into rounds, or half circles, and then cut those larger slices into triangular shaped wedges.)
- Put the squash pieces into a large Ziploc bag or a bowl. Add olive oil and optional melted butter and toss well.
- Remove hot tray from oven. Pour oil coated squash pieces onto the hot tray and immediately place in hot oven.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Check. If the undersides of most of the pieces are slightly browned, remove tray from oven and turn pieces over. (I do this one at a time with a fork.) If the undersides are not yet browned. Continue to bake for another 2-5 minutes, then remove from oven and turn pieces over.
- Return pan to hot oven. Bake for another 7-12 minutes. When the second sides are slightly browned and the squash looks cooked, remove pan from oven. You need those chewy browned edges for this dish to be spectacular. If you are not getting them, broil the squash for a bit! (But don’t overcook the squash…) With this step, remember that cooking is an art, not a science. You might have to adjust baking times/method to fit the strengths/weaknesses of your oven, the age of your particular squash and the size of the pieces you cut.
- After removing the pan from the oven, immediately sprinkle hot squash with vinegar (I put my thumb over the bottle top of the vinegar, and then shake a bit of vinegar onto the squash)–not too much–then sprinkle with coarse salt, a bit of black pepper and a sprinkling of dried mint. Eat (or remove to a serving plate and then eat)
Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today! Oh, look what came out of my garden, ten butternut squash from 2 plants! The missing squash is in the picture above I’m quite pleased with my bounty. BTW, if you still have tomatoes left, be sure to make my Fresh Tomato Lasagna as a final farewell to your Summer garden.