Posts Tagged herbes de provence

Roasted Butternut Squash with Herbes de Provence

I think somewhere in undergrad I forgot about squash. I just don’t remember ever eating squash in the dining hall. Granted, most of their vegetables dishes were overcooked and underflavored, but you’d think that at least winter squash would have showed up because it’s hard to overcook unless you flat-out burn it, and doesn’t need much more than butter to be wonderfully tasty. And yet, no.

So now here I am learning to cook squashes for myself and rediscovering how much I love them. My mother makes a dish she simply calls “winter squash,” (complemented by her equally delicious “summer squash”) that is just butternut squash, roasted and then mashed with butter. It is so. good. But I am too lazy to stand around mashing squash, and we don’t have a proper mashing utensil anyway. So I hadn’t tried to tackle butternut squash until this weekend.

This dish actually began when I had a craving for baked zucchini. But as I learned at the grocery store, out-of-season zucchini is very, very sad and clearly not worth eating. So I picked up a butternut squash instead. I figured, if herbes de provence are tasty with root vegetables (and they are), surely they will also be good with squash. It turns out I was right, but eating it did remind me that butternut squash is awfully good with nothing but butter and elbow grease.

Ingredients

1 butternut squash, cubed and peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried herbes de provence
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 medium onions, each cut into 8 wedges
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place first 6 ingredients in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray; toss well. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the squash bakes, stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly over the squash and return to oven 10 minutes more or until tender and lightly browned.

Notes

The most important thing here is to cut the butternut squash safely. You really need a good chef’s knife and most likely a rubber mallet. There are good directions here. If you can’t or won’t deal with the chopping, you could probably cut the squash in half, put the olive oil and seasoning in the hollowed-out halves, roast the halves and sprinkle the topping partway through.

I just straight-up transferred the breadcrumb/parmesan/olive oil mixture from the zucchini to the squash. Parmesan may not be the most obvious paring with squash, but I am firmly in favor of more cheese where possible, so I added it. I think it worked pretty well. It also adds a nice bit of texture contrast to the soft squash.

But if I ever get some kind of mashing appliance, mashed with butter the squash will be. I guess I could try whacking at it with a wooden spoon, but like I said, lazy. Or maybe use the (well-scrubbed) rubber mallet? hm…

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