Perfect roasted squash

Use autumn's bounty for pizza, pasta, and soups.

In Praise of Leftovers
When roasting squash (butternut squash, pictured) keep it covered with foil for half the time. This will ensure it becomes tender without being too 'mushy.'

Barely keeping my eyes open to write this. Really – how pathetic! Surely a report on roasted squash can wait. But today was one of those days just begging to be recounted. Me and the kids met Bethany, Chris, and family up at Gordon’s Pumpkins, we stopped at the fire station to visit Yancey on the way home, had the world’s most perfect apple, then had dinner with Emily and Ricky, where I used the squash for our pizza. All day long, I was under the October sun, aware there won’t be many more days like this for awhile, and just feeling in my skin.

I wrote about Gordon’s last year and it’s easy to be even more superlative this year. What a riot of color! Drowning in pumpkins, gourds, squashes of every imaginable shape and persuasion, kids hauling back giant jack-o-lanterns from the field, everyone awash in harvest and abundance. I’m glad things grow from the earth, that farmers tend them, and they end up in my arms. Gift after gift.

And if you come home with too many squash for your own good, you should store them in a cool, dry place (like a covered porch) and try cooking them this way. You can keep the roasted squash in the fridge and pull it out for pizza, pasta, soups, burritos, or panini. Tonight, I scattered the chunks over pizza dough with sauteed kale, chevre, fresh mozarella, and fresh thyme.

Perfect roasted squash

Squash, chopped and seeded
Olive oil, enough to cover squash
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Fresh thyme, to taste

This method ensures the squash stays just moist enough while it’s roasting. Keeping it covered the whole time would render it too mushy, and keeping it uncovered might dry it out.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut up a medium butternut squash (or something equivalent). Toss it with a couple glugs of good olive oil, coarse salt, pepper, and some fresh thyme if you have it. Spread it out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover the squash with foil, and bake for 12 minutes. Remove foil and roast for 12-15 minutes more until squash is tender.

Sarah Murphy-Kangas blogs at In Praise of Leftovers.


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