Monday, March 25, 2013

Butternut Squash with Garlic Chips, Crispy Sage and Toasted Hazelnuts

The sweet caramelized squash, crispy-chewy garlic, crunchy sage and toasted hazelnuts are perfect together, but I really can't describe it. Every flavor combination: squash and garlic, squash and sage, squash and hazelnuts, is good on its own, but when they're all together, oh my goodness! That one unidentifiable taste hidden in the background, that you can't quite put your finger on, is the lavender in the herbs. Serves 4

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1" cubes. I had 1.5 lb oven-ready
Butternut squash is a tricky one. If it's got a big bulb, it'll be mostly seeds. Choose one that is longer and thinner.
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1.5 - 2 tsp Herbs de Provence (depending on how much squash you end up with)
12-16 sage leaves
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3 TB hazelnuts, toasted on a cookie sheet

Preheat oven to 375*F

On a half-sheet pan, toss the butternut squash with 2 TB EVOO, herbs de Provence, salt & pepper. Be generous with the pepper and go easy on the salt. Roast for about 30 minutes, turning with a metal spatula halfway through, until the squash is soft and has begun to caramelize on the outside.

While the squash is roasting, coat the bottom of a skillet with EVOO, warm just below medium heat and wait for the oil to ripple; you want the leaves to sizzle and crisp as soon as they hit the oil, not soak. Pick the biggest sage leaves, about 3-4 per serving, and fry in the oil around 1-2 minutes, watching that they don't burn, until they start to curl. If you haven't done this before, cook a couple of test leaves first. Gently remove with tongs and drain on paper towels.

Put the garlic slices in the same oil, moving them around and cook until they start to brown but not burn. Remove with a slotted spoon to the same paper towels. Save the oil to re-use!

As soon as the butternut squash comes out of the oven, turn the temp down to 350*F and immediately put the hazelnuts in the oven. Keep an eye on them, it will only take a couple of minutes for them to toast.

Serve the squash topped with the garlic chips, fried sage and toasted hazelnuts. Mmm mmm good.


  1. I love the plates! Also, the recipe, as I said on FB, looks delicious. Squash is one of my favorites (except zucchini).

  2. Thanks, April! The plates are Fitz and Floyd Halcyon. Hope you like the recipe :-)