Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash with Sour Cream

There's a famous pub in Cambridge, UK called The Eagle. Watson and Crick announced their discovery of DNA there and I discovered Rosemary Roasted Butternut Wedges with Sour Cream there on the menu (they called them wedges, but they're really more like cubes. Poetic license I suppose). Both discoveries were life changing. 

There is something about the tang of the sour cream with the sweetness of the squash and the sharp woodsy flavor of the rosemary that just works together beautifully. During cooking, the squash becomes creamy on the inside  and if you're lucky you get these little glazed bits of caramelization on the outside (only a couple of pieces got caramelized in this batch. I was a little heavy-handed with the olive oil, unfortunately). The rosemary adds freshness and the sour cream kicks up the decadence factor.

In addition to being the site of Watson and Crick's announcement, the Eagle is famous for the signatures of members of the RAF on the ceiling that have been there since WWII. The butternut squash wedges are less famous, but I'm hoping to fix that.

I've thought dreamed about this squash many times since eating it. I bought a butternut squash a few weeks ago thinking I would try to replicate the recipe, but the squash has been sitting on my counter untouched because frankly, I was a little intimidated by it. I think I have only ever cooked butternut squash one or two other time in my life and I didn't know what I was doing. Don't judge.

Enter Google. I read that preparing hard winter squashes is actually quite simple; it wasn't rocket science (or molecular biology either, for that matter) and I managed fairly easily.  I halved the squash lengthwise (by far the most difficult part of the whole process), scooped out the seeds and pulp and then peeled it with my regular old vegetable peeler. I cut it into one inch cubes and stuck it in the fridge for a couple of hours until I was ready to make dinner. Was it going to turn brown like potatoes or apples? I didn't know, but I took the gamble and it worked wonderfully. When I was ready to start dinner, it took me two minutes to get it in the oven and then I could focus on other things like making the main course and reminding my kids to do their homework four billion times.

This recipe is not an exact clone of The Eagle's tasty dish, but it is pretty darn close:

1 butternut squash (approximately 2 pounds), cleaned, peeled and cut into one inch cubes
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
kosher salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary or to taste (use less if you are using fresh. Don't overdo it. Rosemary has a strong flavor)
Sour cream for serving

On the sheet, ready to go in the oven.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cubed squash with the olive oil, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with kosher salt and rosemary. Bake for 30 minutes or just until done. I kind of shook the baking sheet a couple of times during cooking to make sure things weren't sticking (but due to the little bit of extra olive oil I spilled on the squash during prepping it, this wasn't an issue). The squash should be tender but not mushy. Serve with a dollop of sour cream. Wonder why you've never tried this before.

I know that looks like a lot of sour cream, but the bowl is actually quite deep. Don't go overboard with the sour cream. You can always add a little more if you like.

I went back for seconds for a bedtime snack. When is the last time you chose squash over ice cream for a bed time snack?

That's what I thought. Life. Changing.

Today I'm Thankful For:
--The opportunity I had to travel to Ireland, England and Scotland with my mom and sister this past summer. What an amazing experience!

1 comment:

Tanya said...

That sounds amazing. It is on my to-try list! And I agree- learning to cut a butternut squash is intimidating!