Crispy Roasted Butternut Squash

Crispy Roasted Butternut Squash with Sesame Seeds and Yogurt

Makes: more than you think
Takes: 10-15 min prep + 40-55 min cooking + 5 min to make yogurt sauce

Ingredients

For the roasting:

  • 1 large (2 1/2- to 3-pound) butternut squash
  • 3 tbsp butter (unsalted, melted)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp yogurt (plain, Greek)
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp water
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (toasted)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds (toasted and crushed) (or just use a bit less of ground coriander)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Instructions for roasting squash

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F and put a rack on the lower level.
  2. Peel your squash. More than that – you want to get all the light colored parts off. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds. (Set those aside to roast separately, because all winter squash seeds are delicious roasted.)
  3. Put it flat side down to cut into 1/2″ slices. If the resulting arcs/semi-circles of squash are too big, cut in half.
  4. In a bowl, mix that up with the melted butter, salt and pepper.
  5. Make a single flat layer on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake squash until bottom of squash near the back is well browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, make the sauce, see below.
  8. Rotate sheet and bake until bottom of squash near the back is well browned, another 6 to 10 minutes.
  9. Pull sheet out oven and flip each piece.
  10. Continue to bake until squash is very tender and the new bottoms are browned, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
  11. Put on platter and serve. Either pour the sauce on and sprinkle with spice mix or serve the sauce/spice mix on the side for people to manage on their own.

Instructions for sauce

  1. In a bowl, mix yogurt, oil, water and a pinch of salt. If you’re using not-Greek yogurt, skip the water.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the sesame seeds, coriander seeds (or ground coriander), thyme, and a pinch of salt.
  3. (Optional) if you’re lazy, just mix the spices in with the yogurt stuff.

Notes

I don’t think I can sufficiently describe how this gets crispy crunchy on the outside and a bit airy inside and just amazing if that’s a texture you like.

I am a soap-taster for cilantro – nasty stuff – but I mention it because the original recipe does and other folks do like it. Enjoy, you genetic mutants!

I found this recipe online via KCET, which got it from America’s Test Kitchen.

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Roasted Broccoli

 Roasted Broccoli

Makes: as much as you can shove in your oven OR 1 head of broccoli 
Takes: 10 min prep + 20 min baking

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli, washed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or walnut oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flake and/or powdered garlic and/or minced garlic and/or spices that appeal to you
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (100% optional) 

Instructions

  1. Put the rack in the middle and pre-heat to 350 deg F.
  2. Cut the broccoli into stemmed florets and cut in half lengthwise.  Peel the stem and cut into spears. 
  3. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with the oil, salt, pepper, and other spices (and parmesan cheese if using).
  4. Spread on baking sheet in a single layer, cut sides down. 
  5. Bake for 20ish minutes.

Notes

The broccoli florets may appear burnt. Try them anyway, they are still good. If they really are burnt, sorry, roast less time or lower temperature. 

Yes, eat the stems.

This recipe is flexible on spices.  Do what tastes good to you. Personally, I like the intermittent hits of heat from the red pepper flake, but other folks prefer a more even sprinkling of chile powder.