Maple roasted butternut squash with pine nuts.

Maple roasted butternut squash with pine nuts.

Pumpkin season is in a full swing and all kinds of pumpkins being marketed and sold around this time of year. Butternut squash may not be the most popular choice for Halloween carvings but is an excellent and versatile cooking ingredient. I already published a recipe for a butternut squash soup, it also works well in a risotto. But this time I used it in a try roast style dish that replaces potatoes in the usual role of the starch element of a dish. This roast version is much sweeter and delicate than the standard roasted spuds. The whole dish is extremely easy to prepare. No need to pre boil anything and all ingredients are cooked in the same oven. The dish pairs perfectly with fish but it would work nicely with chicken dishes too or it could be served as a stand alone salad.
Experiment and let me know in what combinations this dish worked for you.

pine nuts

Serves 4

Equipment required: large roasting tray or dish. (I use cast iron roasting dish)


  • 1 red onion
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 tblsp olive oil
  • 30g pine nuts
  • 50ml maple syrup
  • 4 sage leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pre heat the over to 200 centigrade.
  2. Peel the onion and cut into 8 wedges.
  3. Peel and deseed the butternut squash and cut into 2 – 3 cm cubes.
  4. Place the onion and butternut squash in a large roasting tray. Use large enough dish so that the vegetables are not overcrowded. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss the cubs around to ensure that they are evenly coated with the oil.
  5. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes to ensure even browning.
  6. Meanwhile scatter the pine nuts on a shallow roasting tray and roast in the same over for 5 – 10 minutes until just golden brown. Remove from the oven and tip onto a plate.
  7. After 30 minutes remove roasting dish from the oven and drizzle the squash with maple syrup. Toss the cubes around to ensure that they are evenly coated with the syrup.
  8. Put it back in the oven for another 5 – 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and stir the sage and pine nuts through. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve immediately as an accompaniment to the chosen protein. Alternatively cool down to room temperature and serve as salad with watercress or rocket.roasted butternut squash

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