Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall's Here! Butternut Squash Fries Anyone?

It's fall again which means it's time for yummy autumn produce to line the aisles of your favorite farmer's markets and grocery stores.  I for one have been getting increasingly excited as the apples, squash, pumpkins and cranberries start rolling in.  How many amazing things can you make with all of these delicious ingredients?  Countless.  But let's start with a personal favorite:  Butternut Squash Fries.

This recipe is ridiculously easy; the only things you need are a super sharp knife and patients.  Although I love these fries, I hate cutting up raw butternut.  Probably because until this year, I didn't have a super sharp knife.  Please make sure when you're cutting up the squash that you protect yourself by making sure the squash is stable against a cutting surface and that your fingers and body are kept away from the knife, because you will be pushing against the produce. 

The end result is more than worth it!  This is a super healthy, vegan-friendly and allergy-free alternative to the potato fry craving.  You'll want to eat them all at once, so the only real problem with these fries is saving some for the next day ;)

Butternut Squash Fries

1 medium/large Butternut Squash
1 small bunch fresh thyme (leaves detached from stems and chopped up)
1 small bunch fresh rosemary (leaves detached from stems and chopped up)
olive oil
sea salt and black pepper to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel the squash.
Cut in half and scoop out seeds/pulp; throw seeds/pulp away.
Cut the butternut into thin fry shapes.  Chunky steak fry shapes will need to cook longer.

Toss the fries in olive oil.
Transfer the fries to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet in one layer (or two sheets if they don't fit on one.)

Sprinkle with salt/pepper to taste.
Bake for about 25 minutes, flip fries over, then return to oven.
Bake for 10 more minutes and then sprinkle thyme and rosemary over the fries and return to oven.
Check in 5-10 more minutes.  When fries are soft (and they should be by then) remove from oven.
Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately.  If you cover them or reheat them in a microwave they will get soggier, just like real potato fries.

These are a delicious side dish for guests of all kinds and a vibrant addition to any plate.  It's also a great way to sneak in nutrients for picky eaters.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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