Roast Squash for Delicious Dining
Michael Chiarello cooks up this delectable take on winter squash.
approximately 6 lbs. butternut squash (preferably two large squash)
2 sticks unsalted butter
4 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage leaves
3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dark unsulphured molasses
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. Halve lengthwise, discard the seeds and cut into 1-inch dice. Place in a large bowl.
Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter ceases to foam and has turned a light brown, pull the pan off the heat and immediately add the sage, rosemary, sugar, vinegar (stand back so as not to get splattered), and molasses. Mix well and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer over medium-low heat for one to two minutes to meld the flavors. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the squash and toss well, then transfer to a heavy rimmed baking sheet or baking dish large enough to hold the squash in a single layer. Place in the oven and roast, tossing at least once, until very tender and caramelized, about one hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle but still warm, so the liquids are runny.
Working in batches, if necessary, and transfer the warm squash and all the cooking liquids to a food processor and process until smooth. Use immediately, refrigerate for up to five days, or freeze for up to two months.