October 2, 2008

Roasted Butternut Squash

by IsaChandra

People keep threatening me about Portland winters. I won’t be able to deal with the gray or the cold or the rain. I’ll be driven mad by a runny nose and wet socks. I don’t know how to react to these threats, it reminds me of the little guy with the big mouth that always starts the fights. Do you have a bigger friend to back you up, like a hurricane or a tornado or a cyclone? Because I think I’m going to be fine. I think I’m going to have 6 months of soup weather and that is more than okay with me. If I get sick of it I’ll take a trip to California.*

Food tastes better on rainy days. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, in fact sometimes the simplest things are the best. Roasted butternut squash is like a big fluffy blanket on a wet autumn day. There’s certainly nothing wrong with just splitting the squash, seeding it and popping it in the oven. But when I’ve got the time I really loved to peel and cube it, this way the outside is crisp and toasty and the inside is creamy and sweet. You can sit back and pop these into your mouth as is, or serve with some tempeh and greens and maybe a hazelnut pesto. I also love to serve it for brunch in place of homefries, it tastes great alongside scrambled tofu.

I’m not actually going to write out a recipe with quantities and measurements, because really you can use the amount of butternut squash that you have. You’ll just need some squash, olive oil and salt. Preheat oven to 375 F. Peel the squash and divide the round part from the long part. Cut the round part in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice everything into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch pieces.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread squash out in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons for a 2 1/2 pound squash.) The single layer is important because if the baking sheet is overcrowded the squash won’t brown, it’ll steam and just get mushy. Sprinkle with salt (about 1/2 teaspoons) and use your hands to coat everything.

Pop in the oven for about 45 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes or so. They’re done when lightly browned on the outside and tender inside. They taste great right out of the oven, but honestly, they’re still good if you leave them out on the counter to snack on all day.

*Please don’t hold me to this when I am whining about the rain in 3 months.

  • October 2, 2008 at 7:12 pm: kittee

    hot damn. i’ve never eaten winter squash like this. i’ve always just halved them and shoved them in the oven. thanks for this.


  • October 2, 2008 at 7:13 pm: Megan

    MMM…my favorite. The cafe down the street from my work has been selling their veggie salads yesterday with roasted butternut squash thrown in! So yummy and I’d never thought of it before. Delish.

    And Oregon winters aren’t THAT bad (lived in Eugene for 4 years), with kitties and soup you’ll be fine. :)

  • October 2, 2008 at 8:14 pm: Maureen

    I can’t keep up with all these squash recipes, they all look sooo delicious! (but especially this one)

  • October 2, 2008 at 8:52 pm: Vegan Jay

    this looks really good! I might make this. I have two butternut squashes waiting to be cooked!

  • October 2, 2008 at 9:30 pm: Lisa

    I have never thought of roasting it like this! Like Kittee, I always just roast the halves.

  • October 2, 2008 at 9:52 pm: bex

    I love fall and roasted veggies!

  • October 2, 2008 at 11:09 pm: Tara (Just Desserts)

    Wow, I didn’t even know you moved! How exciting! I hear Portland is the shizzle for vegans.

  • October 2, 2008 at 11:30 pm: al

    i’ve never so wanted to eat squash before.

    i’m terrified of grey winters. i think they could kick my ass. i’m such a wimp.

  • October 2, 2008 at 11:37 pm: Anonymous

    Roasted butternut squash is one of my favorite foods EVER. I make this all the time. I like your idea of using this in place of home fries.

  • October 2, 2008 at 11:38 pm: Kiersten

    Um, that was my anonymous post. I forgot to put my name, woops.

  • October 3, 2008 at 2:05 am: Zoey

    Welcome to Portland! Or if you haven’t moved yet… Pre-Welcome to Portland!

    The winters here aren’t too bad, especially if you have the ability to go somewhere with sunshine when February rolls around and you realize you haven’t seen the sun in 60+ days.

    On the plus side you are right, you will have about 6 months of perfect soup weather!

  • October 3, 2008 at 3:29 am: Shellyfish

    Winters where I live in France are (evidently) similar to Portland winters. I was ok until last fall when I started dealing with chronic sinus infections, and it looks like it’s gonna happen again this year (boo hoo, I’m so tired of being sick). Give us more heavy garlic & vitamin rich dishes to help fight the evil damp Isa!!

  • October 3, 2008 at 11:49 am: erica

    It’s really more like 4 months. Then again, I’m from Alaska and moved to Oregon for the greenery (that is to say, for the climate) and even I kvetch about the dampness come February.

  • October 3, 2008 at 2:12 pm: ruby red vegan

    What an excellent topic! You are so right — butternut squash is like a big comfy blankie. Usually I’ll just cut a big old squash in half, roast it, and eat an entire half with a spoon (yay comfort food!), but I can’t wait to try it your way. The crispy outside/tender inside concept sounds pretty darn awesome.

  • October 3, 2008 at 2:52 pm: jess

    a real post!

  • October 3, 2008 at 7:47 pm: Monique

    That looks so good.

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:07 am: beastmomma

    I made these for a book club meeting tonight and added them to a salad. It was quite yummy!

  • November 23, 2010 at 10:26 pm: Brittany

    I roast squash like this and then blend it up with some veggie stock and spices and make soup!

  • December 17, 2010 at 5:30 am: Liz

    I’m notoriously awful at cutting anything harder than an apple so I bought some pre cubed butternut squash earlier with the plans of making soup but then I saw this… they’re in the oven right now, can’t wait!

  • September 26, 2011 at 9:48 pm: Sharon

    Uh, it’s not six months of grey, it’s eight, maybe nine. You’ll need more than one trip to Ca. Thanks for the tasty recipes. The food here in Portland is the best. Really. You will enjoy it.

  • July 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm: GranniKat

    my first time experimenting with butternut squash..didn’t know the skins were so tuff to remove! But it was vey delish!! thanks!

  • December 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm: Jessica

    Don’t worry about the Portland winter. It is well worth it to live in this beautiful city. Thank you for all of the delicious recipes you post!

  • April 10, 2015 at 4:18 pm: Ratatouille

    Great post Isa. Thanks for sharing this!!! There are always new ideas to do. I´ve never thought about roasting it like this. With the practice I´m improving my skills in the vegan cooking which is excellent for my aunt and my uncle health condition.