The simple beauty of an ingredient can make me pause. This happens more often than not. Whether I’m peeling asparagus or an onion, slicing beets or citrus, or maybe simply swirling melted butter around a pan, I’m constantly struck at how beautiful food can be. I can’t seem to move forward without first taking a moment to admire it, often times taking a picture while I’m at it.
And it can happen over and over with the same foods — for example, every time I slice a roasted butternut squash in half, I love seeing the rich and deep orange color reveal itself, and I slow down, maybe even stop briefly — it’s like a lull in a conversation.
If this sort of thing hasn’t happened to you with food, imagine your driving around a bend in a mountain, and when you make it around the curve, you suddenly see the ocean. It’s stunning, somewhat surprising, and it may make you slow down or even take your breath away. Maybe you’ll even want to take a picture. Get it?
I welcome these interruptions when I’m in the kitchen — in fact, it’s part of what I love about cooking.
I’ve been working with butternut squash a lot this week and realized how important it is to know how to roast one. If you haven’t done it, it might seem daunting , and having the roasted squash at the ready this time of year is a must. I want to make sure you all know just how easy it is!
Off we go . . .
Step 2: Once it’s preheated, place the baking sheet with the squash in it, and roast until it’s soft to the touch, about 1 hour, 45 minutes. After the first 45 minutes, turn it over and you should check on it every 20 minutes or so. When it’s done, the skin will be somewhat wrinkled with some charred areas, and some golden brown spots.
The color is just so brilliant!
Step 6: Keep the seeds — just like those from a pumpkin, they can be roasted and seasoned. (Recipe to come.) Just put them in a fine mesh strainer and rise them, removing any of the squash membranes that might be stuck.