Butternut Squash

Photo: Danny Kim; Illustrations by John Burgoyne

W inter squash, with its seemingly impenetrable exterior, can be intimidating. But the butternut, with its sweet, rich, deep-orange flesh, is actually easy to peel (provided the blade is sharp and your grip firm). It makes for a great, soothing bowl of soup, but might be even better simply roasted, as in this piquant recipe from Abraço’s Elizabeth Quijada.

Elizabeth Quijada’s Roasted Butternut Squash With Sherry-Vinegar Vinaigrette

4 small butternut squash
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste
3 sprigs rosemary
1/2 clove garlic
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbs. sherry vinegar
2 tsp. whole-grain mustard
1/2 tsp. fennel pollen (at Trufette/SOS Chefs)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup golden raisins, soaked for 10 minutes in hot water and chopped

Preheat oven to 425. (1) Cut about ¼ inch off each end of the squash. (2) Using a vegetable peeler, remove skin. (3) Stand squash upright and slice in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and pulp with a spoon. Cut squash horizontally into 1-inch strips. Arrange a layer of squash slices on two sheet pans. Drizzle √ cup of the olive oil over squash, then flip each piece so that it’s olive-oil side down. Season with salt, pepper, and rosemary, and roast until tender and undersides are browned, about 20 minutes. Remove sheet pans from oven and allow squash to cool before removing to a platter. For the vinaigrette: Rub inside of a bowl with garlic and discard. Add lemon juice, sherry vinegar, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, mustard, and fennel pollen, and whisk together. Drizzle in remaining olive oil and whisk constantly until emulsified. Pour vinaigrette over squash and sprinkle with parsley and raisins. Serves eight.

Butternut Squash