Fall whispers its entrance with cool evenings, blushing trees, and the laughter of school children. With it comes an array of colorful squash, my favorite of them being butternut. Fall squash are not only pretty and decorative, but they are tasty and loaded with complex vegetable carbohydrates and dietary fiber. The butternut happens to be my favorite because its thin skin is easy to peel and there is a high flesh-to-seed ratio in each squash.
Its superfood reputation isn’t the only reason I stock my front-closet-turned-cold-room with the pale golden gourds. They are a cinch to prepare and lend themselves well to food pairings – an essential trait for anyone trying to cater to picky palates.
Another great thing about all winter squash is that even without a root cellar you can store them for months; all you need is some space in a cool room. When purchasing a butternut squash, look for clean, thick skin with no scuffs or blemishes. For the squash to keep well you want a piece of the vine to still be attached and the skin should not give when pressed.
To prepare butternut squash, simply cut in half with a sharp knife, scoop out the seeds, and roast on a baking sheet, cut side down, at 400ºF until the flesh is tender when pierced with a fork. Allow to cool slightly, then scrape the flesh away from the skin using a spoon. Mound the roasted squash in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, dot with butter and serve.