[Eating Rainbow | Orange | Butternut Squash]
There’s that saying about March: “in like a lion, out like a…” The turning point, when the ferocious wintry feline finally melts into a soft, sweet lamb, lands just after the middle of the month. It is the vernal equinox, also known as the first day of…Spring.
Indeed, the clocks have already sprung forward and tomorrow begins a warmer season, and yet, we can’t seem to make the transition ourselves. We’re just not ready to shed our fuzzy winter skins, to put away the slow cooker, to start eating all those bright and sunny, fresh and tender greens at the market. Autumn came too soon last year, winter went by too quickly, and spring, well, like we said, we’re just refusing to accept that it’s already here. We’re still curled up in cashmere pajamas by the fireplace with a bowl of roasted butternut squash with goat cheese and sage, clinging to the last few threads of winter.
Butternut squash, like the Kabocha squash we roasted and ate earlier this week, is a winter squash, so we don’t have to go into too much more detail about all of the healthy carotenoid-rich benefits of this family of fruit (yes, squash is technically a fruit because it contains seeds). We’d rather just sit with our squash and enjoy the time, happy to just be in its presence before we’re inevitably forced to eat asparagus.
Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese and Sage
serves 4-6 depending on the size of the squash
1 butternut squash
olive oil for roasting
a handful of sage
about 4 ounces goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
toasted pepitas or the seeds from the squash
Roast Butternut Squash
You can do this a few different ways. You can cut the squash in half length-wise, remove the seeds, rub the cut-sides with olive oil, salt and pepper, place a few sage leaves inside the cavities, turn the squash halves over onto a roasting pan, and roast for about 45 minutes or until tender in a 400 degree oven. Let the squash cool enough to handle, then scoop the roasted flesh out with a spoon.
You can also roast butternut squash in pieces like we did to top our oatmeal. We prefer this method only because there is more surface area to get browned and crisp and caramelized. It also means that if we have any leftover, we can use cubes in other dishes, as well as mash them if needed.
Make Squash with Goat Cheese and Sage
Mash about 4 cups of still-warm butternut squash with 3 ounces of goat cheese and chopped sage. Salt and pepper to taste (about 2 teaspoons salt, a few solid turns on the pepper mill). Garnish serving bowls with sage leaves (we fried ours to make them crisp), dots of goat cheese, and toasted squash seeds.