Decorative squash? Bake it with Parmesan and brown butter
This time of year, you can find all kinds of squash and gourds at local grocery stores, far more than the variety found just 10 or 15 years ago.
Some of those squash might be sitting on your kitchen table right now.
This recipe from “David Tanis Market Cooking: Recipes and Revelations, Ingredient by Ingredient” by David Tanis (Artisan, $40) is similarly versatile. You could use butternut or acorn squash instead of Hubbard; all of them pair well with the Parmesan and brown butter.
Hubbard Squash With Parmesan and Brown Butter
I can’t think of much that wouldn’t be good with Parmesan and brown butter, actually, but the combination is especially good with roasted winter squash. Use leftovers for a baked pasta — layer the squash with rigatoni or penne cooked firmly al dente, and then shower with grated cheese and bread crumbs.
— David Tanis
2 pounds peeled Hubbard or other winter squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices or a bit thinner
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
Pinch of crushed red pepper
12 large sage leaves, roughly chopped, or a handful of smaller sage leaves
Arugula or chopped parsley for garnish
A chunk of Parmesan for shaving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the squash slices in a large bowl, season with salt and black pepper, and drizzle with enough olive oil to coat. Toss the squash with your hands to distribute the seasoning, then transfer to two baking sheets and spread out the slices. Roast until the squash is cooked through and the edges are browned here and there, about 15 minutes. (You can roast the squash up to 3 hours in advance and hold it at room temperature.)
Arrange the squash on a warm platter or on individual plates, then quickly make the brown butter sauce: Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the crushed red pepper and sage, season with a little salt and black pepper, and whisk the butter and aromatics as the butter begins to bubble and brown. When the butter is foamy and nutty-smelling, in a minute or so, spoon it over the squash. Garnish with a few arugula leaves or chopped parsley and use a sharp vegetable peeler to shave Parmesan over the squash. Serve with lemon wedges.
Makes 6 to 8 servings as a main course, 10 servings as an appetizer.
— From “ David Tanis Market Cooking: Recipes and Revelations, Ingredient by Ingredient” by David Tanis (Artisan, $40)