As the seasons change, the deep greens and sunny yellows of summer squash have given way to the orange, forest green and blue-gray skins of pumpkin, acorn and Blue Hubbard winter varieties.
Nutritionists tell us to choose the most nutritious fruits and vegetables by their color – the more vibrant, the better. The dark orange hues of winter squash represent a vegetable rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.
Hard-skinned winter squash can be cut into cubes and steamed but roasting enhances the flavor. In this recipe, squash cubes are coated with a bit of olive oil and maple syrup with fresh sage as the flavoring herb before roasting. The vegetable complements fish, roasted chicken, beef or pork. The bite-sized pieces of squash also can be tossed with salad ingredients or folded into a cooked grain such as rice, couscous or quinoa.
ROAST BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH MAPLE AND SAGE
>>1 large butternut squash-peeled, seeded and chopped into 3/4-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
>>2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
>>2 tablespoons maple syrup
>>1/4 cup olive oil
>>1 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine squash cubes, fresh sage, maple syrup, olive oil and kosher salt and mix well. Divide squash between two rimmed cookie sheets, and place in a single layer on the pans. Roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or lightly browned and soft. Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.