The magical attribute of butternut squash is its inherent sweetness. When roasted, butternut squash’s natural sugars caramelize, intensifying its flavor, and turning this humble vegetable into something sublime.
The sage leaves and unpeeled garlic cloves that are roasted along with the squash slices bring additional layers of flavor to this otherwise unfussy dish.
Serve the slices as a side vegetable, or use them in lieu of the fennel-roasted apples in this autumn harvest salad. Either way, butternut squash is one of those vegetables that makes you look forward to winter’s flavors.
Note: The squash can be sliced up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated in Ziploc bags. Bake up to 6 hours ahead and reheat at 450 degrees for 4-5 minutes until hot.
- One 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch-thick by 3-inch-long slices
- 16 large sage leaves
- 8 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the butternut squash slices in the center of a large nonstick jelly roll pan. Sprinkle with the sage, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss well. Arrange slices in a single layer, tucking the sage and garlic in between the slices, and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and carefully flip each slice so as not to break them. Return to the oven and bake for 8-10 more minutes, until golden-brown at the edges. Remove the garlic cloves and discard. Place the slices on a serving tray. Garnish with the sage leaves and serve immediately.