Savory sage squash recipe

Winter squash is not my #1 favorite vegetable (I’m lookin’ at you, green beans…) but it’s super nutritious, easy to grow, and keeps all winter sitting on a shelf. But you can only eat so much baked squash, and I’m not a huge fan of any variation of butternut squash soup. So I’m always looking for new ways to eat it.

All my life, squash has been a sweet thing. Add brown sugar, maybe pumpkin pie-type spices. That falls flat, though, when the squash itself isn’t very sweet – acorn squash, for example, isn’t that sweet, and baking it (which is almost like steaming unless you do it at pretty high heat and get some caramelization going) and adding butter and brown sugar just tastes like…steamed blah with oil and over-sweetness dribbled on top.

So I tried something totally new to me. Cubed a butternut and threw it in a frying pan with some ghee (clarified butter doesn’t aggravate my milk allergy! Yay!) and half an onion. When it started to brown, I added just a bit of water, maybe a couple tablespoons. You want the water to boil off immediately into steam when it hits the pan. Cover and let it cook down until the squash is back to frying in the butter again. Add a bit more water if it still needs to soften up. Then take the lid off and let it finish cooking and browning a little bit.

Just before serving, add a very generous portion of dried sage. I used three whole leaves, crushed – maybe equivalent of a teaspoon of dried rubbed sage. This is from the garden and very pungent. Also add salt and cayenne to taste. Fresh black pepper would also have been good, I think.

This came out quite well. I’d also like to try replacing the water with apple cider – though that would add a lot of sweetness back to the dish, and I’m not sure I want that.

No pics, sorry…ate it too fast…



  1. Anonymous said,

    September 22, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    probably my favorite squash recipe:

    • Emily said,

      September 23, 2010 at 10:08 am

      Oh! That’s brilliant. I’ve been looking for a hummus substitute since chickpeas came off the menu.

  2. Suzie said,

    September 22, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    That sounds awesome! It inspires me to get some winter squash at the market. (And, I *do* love butternut squash in almost all of its various incarnations!)

  3. September 23, 2010 at 5:20 am

    You could also use it in a curry, mash it with your black-eyed peas and spices for fritters, or make baked “fries” from it. YUM!

  4. Carol said,

    September 28, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Emily, try roasting cubes of it with garlic & olive oil, adding sage and a little parmesan cheese at the end. YUM! I’m with you – don’t like the sweet recipes.

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