If you are looking for a good excuse to consume way too much butter, a brown butter vegetable dish is a good choice. You've got the virtue of plant-power on your side, which pretty much offers a universal pass to go crazy with ingredients that would otherwise seem indulgent. Broccoli? Cover it in cheese sauce. Asparagus? Bring on the hollandaise! Spinach? Cream that mess.
Besides, anything with brown butter in the title sounds fancy, and fancy is almost as good an excuse for gluttony as vegetables. Now that we've got the justification out of the way, let's move on to this post's featured butter sponge, spaghetti squash! This toothsome veggie can vary in texture depending on how you prepare it. My current favorite method is roasting the squash whole, then cutting and shredding it afterwards. This gives you a slightly al dente squash as opposed to the softer bite that can result from steaming it or roasting it in halves.
Of course, you can do whatever floats your boat. If you'd like to try it my way, preheat your oven to 375F, poke some holes in the squash using a fork, then roast it on a baking sheet for about one hour. If you want to be extra conscientious you can turn it over half-way through. Let that puppy rest for about ten minutes after you remove it from the oven, then slice it open and remove its seeds. Shred the flesh with a fork, and you are all done. You can roast the seeds to use in place of the pepitas in this recipe - but only if you really love giving yourself extra work. I am lazy, so used store bought pepitas instead.
I used sweet potatoes in this recipe but feel free to swap that ingredient for any root veggie you like. Russet potatoes, parsnips, or celery root would all do nicely in its place. I also considered adding some sauteed spinach or kale, or sprinkling a little parmesan on top. The moral of this rant is, as always, to do what you want. If it tastes good to you it will probably taste good to everyone else. (And if not, at least YOU are happy.)
Brown Butter & Garlic Sage Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil (or fat)
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1 stick butter (1/4 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 sage leaves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dry sage)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoons chevre (or any soft cheese)
- Preheat the oven to 450. Toss the sweet potatoes with the cooking oil, then spread them onto a baking sheet. You can line the sheets with silpat or parchment to make cleanup easier, if you'd like.
- Roast the diced sweet potatoes for 15 - 30 minutes - until they are fork tender. (Cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the cut.) Set aside when finished as you prep the rest of the recipe.
- Place a small frying pan over medium heat on the stovetop. Place the pepitas into the pan, then toss as they heat through. Cook this way for about 2 minutes - just until they begin to smell nutty. Be careful not to let them burn! Set the seeds aside in a bowl when finished.
- Melt the butter over low heat in a deep skillet or frying pan. When the butter has melted, add the garlic, then increase the heat to medium. Cook the butter, stopping to stir and scrape the pan occasionally, until brown flecks begin to appear in the butter. Add the sage, then continue cooking until about half the butter has browned.
- Add the spaghetti squash, salt, and pepper, and toss together until the squash is coated and heat through.
- Divide the squash into four bowls and top with sweet potatoes, pepitas, and cheese.