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Seriously Simple: It’s the perfect time of year for a side of squash

Seriously Simple: It’s the perfect time of year for a side of squash

From the 5 simple and comforting recipes to make this week series
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Once you roast these bright orange morsels, you may never cook them any other way.

Roasting butternut squash brings out its inherent sweetness by lightly caramelizing it. I’ve served them as is with a drizzle of balsamic syrup or a sprinkling of fresh herbs atop; but in this recipe, I decided to mash them up with a few herbs to bring the flavors together. I like to use a potato masher for a coarse mashed texture. You can also use your hand blender or food processor where you will have a smoother result.

Cumin and sage add a layer of flavor that enhances the squash. This is a colorful side dish that is complements most poultry and lamb. It is, of course, a happy add-on to any holiday table as well. You can now find peeled and cut-up squash at most markets to make this Seriously Simple. If you can’t find them prepared, you can look for a ripe 3-pound butternut squash and carefully peel it with either a sharp knife or a serrated peeler. Scoop out the seeds and cut it into small pieces.

Roasted Butternut Squash Mash

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 pounds butternut squash peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

2. Spoon squash onto a baking sheet with a lip and add olive oil, salt and pepper tossing to evenly coat. Spread the squash out into a single layer.

3. Roast for about 35 to 40 minutes, stirring twice, until lightly caramelized.

4. Remove baking sheet from oven and transfer the squash into a large bowl. With a potato masher, mash the squash until smooth. Add the sage and cumin and mix to combine. Taste for seasoning. Serve immediately.

Advance preparation: This dish may be prepared up to one day ahead through Step 4, covered and refrigerated. Reheat gently on medium heat. Adjust the seasonings, if needed.

(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at


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