Introduction: Roast a Butternut Squash

About: Everything needs a garnish. Let's talk food! Follow me on Twitter: @garnishgirl

Butternut squash is delicious, healthy, and so good in soups and pasta dishes. I feel guilty grabbing the tiny packaged frozen version (and fresh packs so much more flavor) so I came up with this quick-roast alternative.

You can have squash on your table in 20 minutes. It's possible! Are you leaping for joy yet?

These cute little half moons are great for kids. They're a nutritious alternative to fries or tater tots, and provide color that's irresistible. My toddler loves butternut squash with homemade chicken strips. Mashed, it's great baby food. (Shh- I'm a grown up. Don't tell anyone I'll eat it this way with a sprinkling of salt and olive oil.)

This is a great, fast base for soups, ravioli fillings, etc.

For ingredients, you'll need:

-a medium size butternut squash
-some olive oil or butter

Too simple, right? It's deceivingly good.

For tools:

-an oven-safe pan or dutch oven, with a lid
-a knife
-a vegetable peeler
-an ice cream scoop
-a cutting board


Step 1: Prep the Squash

While you're preparing your squash, pre-heat your oven to 400 F.

1. Cut your squash in two, and use the ice cream scoop to clean out the center.

2. Flip the halves over, and slice off the hard portions at either end.

3. Peel the squash halves using the vegetable peeler.

4 .Slice each half into 1/2 inch slices, like half moons.

Step 2: Brown and Roast the Squash

Take your olive oil or butter and add 2 teaspoons to the pan. Heat on medium low until ready.

1. Add the half-moons. Stir until coated thoroughly, and let them saute until golden-brown, about 10 minutes total. Stir throughout.

2. Add the lid.  Then, pop them in the oven. Set your timer for 10 minutes, then check. If they pierce easily with a fork, but retain their shape, they're ready to serve.

3. For fillings or soups, add another 5 to 10 minutes. Or, leave the lid on and let the steam do the job.

Let them cool and have at them!