Fall Harvest Butternut Squash

Seasonal cooking is one of the joys of life! Even more joyous...is not having to cook because the work is already done!

Allow me to explain...I was given some extra (cooked) butternut squash at work from a colleague. At work, there is a bountiful garden that boasts all organic, home grown vegetables.  As of a few weeks ago, before our harvest, heaping with huge butternut squash, tomatoes, and kale. The garden is such a neat part of our school. I gladly took the squash home, feeling extra warm and fuzzy since I knew where it had been planted, grown, and harvested. Even better, I know the people who carefully cultivated and watched over the garden. So, I was pretty excited to pair it up with something at home. I decided on quinoa, which is relatively easy to make.

After the quinoa was done, I heated up the squash and tossed it over a nice full plate. It was so delicious, it felt like a sinful indulgence! I made some for my mom, and we ate it outside in the beautiful mid-September weather. I am fond of butternut squash, she is neutral about it...but when we both took our first bite, we looked at each other incredulously...

WHY is this so unnaturally good?!??!!?

We kept eating, and as we ate, we grew more and more confused. We examined the flecks of herbs in the squash. We concentrated on the taste. We wondered aloud, hat was the secret to this butternut squash!? It was so smooth, buttery, and rich. It held its shape but melted in our mouths. We noted the garlic, but dismissed it as only a minimal flavor. We noticed herbs, but couldn't decide what was giving this squash its extra richness.

So, I went to work, and asked my colleague who had cooked and given me this squash. The secret? Maple syrup.

Just add garlic cloves (unpeeled), sage, and a little olive oil...and the 2.5 tablespoons of maple syrup...roasted for 45 to 50 mins...to make this squash i n s a n e l y out-of-this-world delicious. I added quinoa, which I made with water and 2 tbs. of Better Than Buillion chicken base, and it was a really nice complement. This is a must-have for your fall dinner parties or homemade dinners.