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Food & Home

Roasted Butternut Squash with Chili and Maple

Josh Emett

The humble butternut squash is incredibly versatile; I often opt to roast it to bring out its natural sweetness. When Gwyneth handed me a beautiful butternut from her garden, I suggested roasting it with a touch of maple syrup, salt, and chili, then topping it with pecans and fried sage. This simple yet elegant preparation makes for a classic side dish. Plus, any leftovers can be added to a salad or frittata the next day, so it’s always a good idea to make extra.

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and fibers from the center using a spoon. Peel the skin off the squash using a small sharp knife. Cut the squash into even-size cubes and place them on a large baking tray.

3. In a small saucepan, melt the clarified butter over low heat. Once melted, stir in the avocado oil and maple syrup until well combined.

4. Drizzle the melted butter mixture over the squash on the baking tray. Season with a pinch of chili flakes and sea salt and toss the squash cubes gently to ensure they are evenly coated with the mixture.

5. Place the baking tray in the preheated oven and roast the squash for about 35 to 40 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring halfway through to ensure even cooking. Add the pecans for the last 10 minutes, tossing them through before placing the tray back in the oven.

6. While the squash is roasting, heat a small amount of clarified butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the fresh sage leaves and fry them until crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the fried sage leaves to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.

7. Once the squash is golden brown and roasted, remove it from the oven and transfer it to a serving dish. Garnish with the crispy fried sage leaves.