Trader Joe’s has signature labels below each of their grocery items that usually gives the item’s name along with a cooking recommendation for that item. Well, after reading the suggestion for their pre-cut butternut squash – which was to roast it with olive oil and sage – I immediately put it in my shopping basket.
When it came time to cook, I looked up a basic recipe for this dish and found this one on Oprah’s website. Who knew Oprah liked butternut squash?! I guess the age-old adage is correct – you really do learn something new every day. And that was mine. I feel kinda jipped. Hmm.
Looking at the recipe now, I realize that I only used it as a guide – seeing as I didn’t follow her measurements for anything. But, it was my first attempt at this dish so I wanted to have some sort of instructions on hand. You probably won’t need a guide considering this recipe asks you to complete the difficult task of tossing cubed butternut squash and some chopped sage in olive oil, laying it all out on a baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper) and then putting it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Once the squash was in the oven, I moved on to the remaining sage leaves. Let me just say this: I am a freak for fried sage leaves. Yes – making that statement bold and green was absolutely necessary. I think they’re one of the most unique and delectable garnishes I’ve ever enjoyed. Yum yum yum. Nom nom nom. That reminds me – remember these? Oh, 90’s, how I miss thee.
Remove the stems of the sage so only the leaves remain. Fill a frying pan with about 1/8 cup of olive oil, or enough that the leaves are covered when you add them to the pan. Then just add a small bunch at a time. I think I added about 7-10 each time. Oh, and STAND BACK. Oddly enough, hot oil popping up from your pan and landing on your hand, arm, face, cornea, tonsils, etc. doesn’t feel good. Who. Woulda. Thunk?
Allow your leaves to fry for about 30 seconds, or until they’re more firm and start to turn a darker and richer green. Use your spatula to transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels, add a little salt (careful not to be too liberal here), and repeat.
This is a delicate process, and one that I’ll need to practice a few more times before I really feel like I have a knack for it. That said, I could eat fried sage leaves all day, even if I had burned every single one of ’em.
Back to the butternut. When you’ve decided they’re done cooking, take them out and let them cool.
I think I ended up keeping it in the oven for a few more minutes than the recipe called for, maybe 38 total. If you want your squash to be a little crispier – the way Meghan and I like everything – then let it roast for about 35-40 minutes.
Yum 🙂 Although, I could have kept it in for even just a touch longer. Ah, well, hindsight. I guess that just means you guys will have to suffer through yet another post about butternut squash. But don’t worry because next time I’ll actually make the dish properly. At least you have that to look forward to. It’s the little things.
This was a delicious and extremely filling dish, and one that I will be making again soon. No, I’m not really going to dedicate another entire post to just butternut squash. Chill.