Sunday, September 11, 2016

Savory Sunday: Butternut Squash

Guest post by Shelby Smith
    Want a recipe that’s flavorful, can be paired with anything, and gets you in the mood for the fall season? Anything with Butternut Squash is the way to go. Butternut Squash is one of the most versatile foods to prepare. Squash can be made into both savory meals and used in desserts. It can be used in stews, soups, baked, sautéed, or steamed. It is great as a main course, side dish or an addition to another recipe.
    I used a small butternut squash from the Fenton Community Garden in Silver Spring, MD,  to make Parmesan and Rosemary-Butternut Squash Gratin. This recipe is crunchy, buttery, and can stand on its own. This recipe is inspired by Betty Crocker.

Cooking prep: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
1 Butternut squash (2 lbs)
¼ cup butter or margarine
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary
¼ cup Progresso™ panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Peel, halve lengthwise and deseed squash. Cut into ½-inch-thick slices and arrange with slices overlapping slightly in a greased/oiled 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Season the slices with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter/margarine over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Add garlic and rosemary; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft and butter is infused with garlic and rosemary flavor. Do not let the butter brown.
  3. In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs, cheese and 1 tablespoon of the garlic rosemary butter mixture.
  4. Brush squash slices with remaining butter mixture. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top of the squash slices.
  5. Bake uncovered 30 to 40 minutes or until the squash is tender when pierced with fork. Increase oven temperature to 425 F; bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Sprinkle parsley and more cheese, if needed, over top before serving.

The end product should come out crunchy and golden brown. The squash gets infused with the garlic and rosemary making the taste rich and flavorful. This meal is also versatile because you could pair it with any meat or mix it with pasta.
Also you could add some sliced zucchini and mushrooms to make it a hardier dish. You can substitute the dairy with olive oil to make this a vegetarian option. If you cut the squash into slices you could eat these like fries.
This is just one of the many dishes made with butternut squash. Squash is a good source of vitamins, has little to no fat when raw, and can stay fresh for a couple of weeks before using. This recipe can be your next side dish at Thanksgiving or just a quick meal on a Sunday evening.

"Savory Sunday" is a new weekly blog series with seasonal recipes from the garden.
About the Author:
Shelby Smith is a senior double major in multi-platform journalism and film studies at the University of Maryland College Park. She was a sports copy-editor for a campus publication called Unwind Magazine and a writer at The Campus Current newspaper at Anne Arundel Community College.  

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