I think it was Carrie, who mentioned squash fries in a post as something she wanted to try. They immediately caught my interest, as they seemed such a fun way to eat squash. It was a huge hit here. They are softer, and not firm like a potato fry would be. But they really have a beautiful taste, and my husband and daughter just love them. In fact, I never seem to have made enough!
So for my addition to the Nourishing Fall Recipe Carnival, I thought I would share with you Butternut Squash Fries. I think it fits the bill quite nicely. They are a frugal side dish to boot!
I am sure you can use other squash, but I like butternut because it has the right shape for cutting fries out of, and it is nice and firm. I am sure that there are many variations to be had for this recipe. You could try sprinkling some warming spices on, like cinnamon and nutmeg. Or you could spice it up with some curry powder. And these are fries after all, so it’s nice to have a dipping sauce. I made a simple one by adding a few tablespoons of grade B maple syrup to homemade mayonnaise. Rich and Delish! My sister suggested curried mayonnaise, another great idea.
I struggled for a long time in figuring out how to cut up and peel a butternut squash in a timely fashion. I have finally worked out a system that has worked well for me, so I am including step by step instructions for you all.
Butternut Squash Fries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1 butternut squash
4 tablespoons oil (I have used coconut oil or a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil)
Sea salt and pepper
The squash should now be the perfect size to hold in your hand and peel. Peel each quarter, making sure that you remove all of the peel (you may have to go over every surface more than once). A sharp peeler makes this job much easier!
Now that they are peeled, you are ready to cut some more. Cut each quarter in small strips. One of the secrets to getting nice squash fries, is to get it the right size. Think of a real French Fry, that is your size goal.
The other secret to getting not overly soft squash fries is to very widely space them on your sheet pan. The ones below really were a little too close. It works best to have them far apart from each other. I would use two sheet pans for one squash, if possible.
Place in your hot oven for about 45 minutes, switching the sheet pans, half way through. This will depend on your oven and how small you cut them, so check early, and leave a time cushion if they take a little longer then you expect.
You want them to get not only well cooked, but slightly browned as well.