This dish is inspired by a roasted squash dish I had at 112 Eatery a few years back. It was a night that my husband and I had stopped by for a snack more than for dinner, so I ordered just a side of roasted squash, very possibly accompanied by a glass of bubbles. I can’t remember exactly how the squash was prepared, other than finished with a crumble of blue cheese, but I do remember how perfectly perfect it tasted that night, and I’ve been making this version ever since.
If you love butternut squash as much as I do, I suggest planning to have this as an entree, perhaps with a salad. It is not a light dish, although it doesn’t have to be heavy if you go easy on the duck fat and blue cheese. Ha! I loved writing that sentence.
Or go for broke and serve it alongside a braised roast for a cold night’s hearty fare. It definitely works both ways.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Blue Cheese & Sage
Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as an entree
Note: You could easily make this dish vegetarian by roasting the squash in olive oil instead of duck fat.
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes
2-3 Tbsp. of melted duck fat (or olive oil)
2 Tbsp. real maple syrup
2-3 Tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
6 sage leaves fried crispy in 1 Tbsp. of butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place squash cubes in a large bowl. Pour duck fat over squash, sprinkle generously with salt, and toss to coat thoroughly.
Spread squash in a flat layer on baking sheet. Place sheet in oven and roast squash for 15 minutes. Stir pieces and roast for another 10 minutes. Drizzle squash with the maple syrup, stir around, and roast for 10 minutes more or until squash is very tender and caramelized in places.
Remove pan from oven and crumble blue cheese over warm squash. Lightly crumble crispy sage leaves over the top and serve immediately.