Storified by Arya McLean· Fri, Mar 22 2013 19:52:03
Butternut squash also known in Australia and New Zealand as butternut pumpkin, is winter kind of squash.Some people find the taste of butternut squash a bit bland. An aromatic herb like sage, which has a strong woody flavor, brings out the natural sweetness of butternut squash. Cooked with shallots, a bit of salt and some sugar, butternut squash with sage turns into a scrumptious side dish that combines well with pot roast, tenderloin steaks, grilled lamb, roasted turkey, or steamed fish. Its beautiful golden yellow color makes any dinner table look more lively and festive.
A superlative alternative to the usual roasted potatoes, butternut squash with sage capture the colors and flavors of fall. It has the mild and delicate taste of pumpkin and a hint of the sweetness of sweet potatoes. Using only a few ingredients, you can make this ultra-healthy dish that vegetarians and vegans will love. Even meat-lovers will take a fancy to this flavorful dish, as butternut squash can be quite “meaty” and fleshy too.
Sage is an ancient herb, long used for its medicinal properties. It has been hailed by many as a wonder herb possessing magical and sacred qualities. As an adjective, the term sage refers to a profoundly wise person; the word is derived from the Latin term “salvare,” which means to save or to heal.
Native Americans and ancient Egyptians used sage to treat all kinds of ailments and diseases including fever and the plague. It was also believed to aid conception, enhance memory, and even bestow immortality. A potent source of antioxidants, sage helps digest fatty meats so it is great to eat it together with greasy holiday dishes. Shallots complement the robust flavor of sage and butternut squash serves as a base or background for the two powerful spices.
Besides being a colorful, nutritious, and flavorful appetizer, butternut squash with sage also make a wonderful addition to pasta sauces, soups, or stuffing. It’s great to eat with cheese, bread, and salad. You can also combine it with beans, risotto, or rice for a satisfying meal.