I have to say, squash can seem like an intimidating vegetable. It’s big and awkward and has a tough outer shell. Have no fear though because cooking a squash is super simple. Just put it on a cookie sheet, stab it a few times with your favorite knife and pop it in the oven. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. After an hour that tough shell loosens to reveal a creamy, buttery center. Yum.
After you bake your squash, add lots of garlic, parmesan and a touch of cream then balance all of the savory flavors with a bit of sweet by adding some dried berries. This is an extremely easy recipe that’s dressed to impress. This smashed squash is unique enough to be a holiday side dish or simply served along side a casual entree, like these roasted chicken thighs. Do it. You know you want to.
Baked Butternut Squash with Garlic and Dried Berries
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Yields: Serves 6
1 small butternut squash (about 3-4 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley (or basil)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dried berries (I used cranberries and blueberries)
Preheat oven to 375F. Pierce squash a few times with sharp paring knife (to let steam escape). Bake squash for 60 minutes, or until a paring knife pierces easily through skin with little resistance. Let squash cool for 10 minutes.
Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove and discard the seeds. Peel the skin off and set aside. If the squash seem difficult to scrape, return the squash to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Heat a large saute pan with the butter and the garlic over medium-low heat. When garlic becomes fragrant, add parsley, salt and squash. Toss well, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and taste to see if you need additional salt. Add the berries and serve hot with butter.