Yes, that picture looks like sh*t. No, I don’t have a better one and no, I have no excuse for using it. You probably won’t even make this recipe because the picture looks so bad. I promise I will try harder. I cook literally every single day, and 9 times out of 10 I fail to remember to take pictures of what I make. I made a really delicious and easy pesto chicken salad yesterday and completely forgot to take a picture. I didn’t think a picture from TJ’s iPhone of his half eaten Tupperware midway through lunch would suffice, so I will have to make it again and remember to actually photograph more. I think I need to put up post it notes in my kitchen to remind me to take a picture both while cooking and of the finished product. TJ is a HUGE fan of clutter (not) so I’m sure that will go over really well..
Anyways, for some reason every time I tried to find a good recipe for roasted butternut squash, I was only able to find a sweet version. As I hope you have learned by now, I am not a huge fan of sweets. I wanted something for a side dish to my crock pot corned beef (which I got an equally bad picture of), and anything sweet just wouldn’t do. What do I do when I have no idea what to make and can’t find a recipe that I could modify a little bit? I took out garlic, vinegar and salt and made it a side dish. I mean seriously, how can you go wrong with any of those things? You can’t. All three are very common ingredients in my recipes, so if you have any aversion to them, sorry I’m not sorry.
This winter, I have fallen in love with butternut squash. I don’t know why it took me so long. My mom used to make the soup all the time, and I never ate it because I assumed it was sweet. Tasting a spoonful probably wouldn’t have killed me.. but whatever. So before it starts to really warm up outside, I have been trying to use it as much as possible. A butternut soup recipe will be forthcoming as well because it is literally probably the easiest thing to make on the planet. Plus its delicious. Warning to all butternut squash virgins: they are a bitch to peel. I have googled and googled and I can’t seem to find any secret trick to making this easier. So, I began to opt for the lazy route. I know, that’s so unlike me, right?! Wrong. Easy will always win out with me. I rarely have the time or the patience to peel one of those damn things when we eat them at least once a week. Every grocery store near me has butternut squash pre-peeled and even pre-diced, wrapped up in a neat little package this time of year. 10 times out of 10, that’s what I am buying when I want some butternut squash in my life.
1 Butternut Squash, diced.
1/4 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar.
1 TBSP of Olive Oil
2-3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced. More garlic is better. I always go for more.
Salt and Crushed Red Pepper, to taste.
Preheat the oven to 400. Peel and dice your squash. I have no good advice for the peeling. I usually just cut the squash in half horizontally and go to town on it with a pairing knife. If anyone has suggestions for how to make this easier, seriously let me in on the damn secret! The grocery store pre-diced ones are a godsend, but they usually need a little extra dicing. The key is that every piece is similar in size so that it all cooks evenly. Usually the ones from the store range from huge chunks to 1 inch pieces but I can’t even be mad. Whoever took the time to peel that squash has my blessing to half-ass the dicing part. I’ll handle that myself. Once it is diced, put it on a bowl and toss in the balsamic, oil, garlic, salt and red pepper. Toss it until everything is coated in your mixture and put it on a baking sheet (as usual, I lined mine with aluminum foil to keep the cleaning process as easy as possible) and throw it in the oven. It needs to cook for a good 20-25 minutes or so. I constantly check mine to mix it and make sure everything is cooking evenly, as well as to see how cooked it is. I prefer mine a bit more “well done,” but some people prefer it more firm and less cooked. Your call. Easy, delicious recipes are the best. Seriously.