An easy way to cook a tasty, nutritious vegetable!
I adore squash and have often wondered why more people don’t cook it. I recently started asking and the most common answer I received was that it’s too finicky to peel. Well, guess what? You don’t have to peel squash before cooking and, in fact, the skin is not only edible, it’s extremely tasty! This method is so simple and it makes a really excellent side dish. The number of rounds you get will depend upon the size of butternut squash you purchase; look for ones with long, skinny necks.
- 1 butternut squash
- Olive oil (regular or flavoured; I like to use roasted garlic oil)
- Salt, pepper and dried thyme leaves
- Grated parmesan cheese (or vegan alternative)
- Fresh thyme leaves, to garnish (optional but delicious)
- Preheat oven to 400F and wash the squash under hot water.
- Take a thin slice off the top of the neck (the long, skinny part) and discard. Slice the rest of the neck into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick rounds. When you get to the seeded part of the squash, you have run out of neck to slice.
- Note: reserve the seeded bulb portion of the squash for other uses (slice in half, scoop out seeds and steam or roast until tender, then scoop out flesh and make soup).
- Lay the squash rounds on a large, parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil then sprinkle each with a pinch of salt, pepper and thyme.
- Bake for 12 minutes then flip slices. Bake for 10 minutes more, then sprinkle about 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of grated Parmesan over each squash round. Return to oven for 3 – 4 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and beginning to crisp up.
- Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves (if using) and serve hot.