Monday, November 18, 2013
Butternut Squash Parmesan
Butternut squash is one of those perfect squashes that so easy to prepare in a bunch of different ways. Since it's easy to peel and relatively easy to cut (compared to other squash), it lends itself to being treated like a potato instead of like other squashes that basically only want to be roasted with the rind on (I'm looking at you acorn squash). So this version of butternut squash laden with garlic and Parmesan cheese makes an excellent side dish for Thanksgiving. The squash bakes up flavorful and soft while the topping gets nice and crunchy. Plus it's a rather light way to prepare squash so you can load up on this and still have room for pumpkin pie.
This is actually a Weight Watchers recipe, but I'm not sure how I came about it. I do know that we really like it in my house and when I made it recently I wondered why I don't make it more often since we've only had it 2 or 3 times. It's really simple--just peel and cut the squash, melt the butter and brush on top, then add the topping. So simple I used the toaster oven to bake this up while the big oven was otherwise occupied. If you wanted to add a different bit of flavor with other herbs or spices, it would be easy to do. I used panko bread crumbs, but anything would work--including my go-to of Fiber One cereal crumbs. Easy, delicious and versatile, this might be a new side dish to try alongside your turkey next week.
Butternut Squash Parmesan
2-3 pound butternut squash
1/4 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Pierce squash all over with a fork and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave and cut of the top and bottom, enough to expose the seeds and pulp. Scoop out the seeds and pulp and peel off the skin.
Cut in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise in about 1/2 inch half-moon slices.
Arrange slices in a 11 inch square or 9 x 13 inch baking dish, lightly sprayed with cooking spray, slightly overlapping.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, add minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, taking care to not brown the butter.
In a small bowl, combine panko, cheese, salt and pepper. Add 1 Tablespoon of melted butter and toss to coat slightly.
Brush remaining butter and garlic mixture over squash. Sprinkle panko/cheese mixture evenly over the squash.
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, until squash is fork tender. Increase temperature to 425 degrees F and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the crust is golden.
Remove from oven and serve hot.
Makes 6-8 servings.
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