I love butternut squash, especially when it’s roasted and yes, I did give the kiss of death to the squash in the video. Its impending sacrifice will give us a beautiful and delicious dish. This is one of those dishes that no matter how you plate, has a beautiful presentation. All the flavours come together so well and it’s become one of my go to side dishes to make during the holiday season.
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH POMEGRANATE, SAGE & PINE NUTS
Recipe by Mark Calaminici | Food Loves Company
¼ extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
12 fresh sage leaves, or more to taste
30g fresh pomegranate arils
20g pine nuts, toasted
2 ½ lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into small 1” cubes
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Chili flakes, to taste (optional)
20g Parmigiano-Reggiano, or more to taste, finely grated
Balsamic glaze, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a pan on medium to high heat, add extra virgin olive oil and butter. Once the oil gets hot, add sage leaves, in small batches. As the sage leaves fry, flip them over and once crispy, remove and place on a plate lined with paper towel and season with salt and set aside. Frying times will vary, so keep and eye on them. Do not throw away the oil as it will be used to coat the butternut squash cubes.
3. Place butternut squash cubes into a large bowl and season with salt, freshly cracked pepper and chili flakes (optional). Add 3-4 tbsp. of the oil that you fried the sage leaves in or just enough to coat all the cubes. Give a mix and place on a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Space the cubes out the best you can and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven. Give them a toss, shake or flip halfway through cooking. Just before the squash is done, about 5 minutes before, take out the squash and finely grate Parmigiano-Reggiano all over the cubes, as much as you like. Place back in the oven to finish cooking and the Parmigiano-Reggiano will melt and crisp up. The butternut squash should be browned and should pierce easily with a fork, give a taste if need be.
4. Plate the squash into a bowl or plate. Grab some or all of the sage and crumble and mash it all up, all over the squash. You can garnish with full smaller sage leaves as well. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and pomegranate arils. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Enjoy!