This dish is so simple it hardly seems worth writing out the recipe. But it was SO incredibly delicious, it seems a crime not to mention it. My first time making brown butter… worth the time and care for rich, lightly carmelized goodness! If, like me, you have never browned butter before, Serious Eats offers fantastic detailed, illustrated instructions. Equally great over pasta, with at least a half stick of butter, or as a side dish, where you can get away with using less.
UPDATE (9/13/17): Great over boiled potatoes, with a little lavender thrown in for good measure! Used a whole stick of butter over a large bowl of potatoes — forgot to add the herbs in the middle of the browning process, which was probably just as well, since made it easier to watch for when it hit the perfect stage of caramelization. Thew them in right after I removed from heat. Perfect!
UPDATE (10/8/17): Made this again, with a full stick of butter over a box of pasta and four small roasted winter squash. Was delicious, but definitely too much butter for my taste. Half a stick would probably be about right. Once again, I waited to add the herbs until after the butter was browned… as it was, it created a crazy fizzy explosion. I blame only having salted butter at hand for all the superfluous foaming. It worked, but less than ideal — use unsalted butter if at all possible.
Roasted Squash with Sage Brown Butter
2 pounds pasta (optional)
Butternut squash (or winter squash of choice), cut into large chunks
2-6 tablespoons butter, cut into even slices (unsalted is best)
Sage leaves, finely chopped (fresh if available)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Coat squash pieces (skin and all) with oil and roast on a baking sheet until tender. This took about 45-50 minutes at 350ºF for me, since I was sharing the oven with another dish. Normally I would roast at a higher temperature. Cook pasta, if desired. Let squash cool slightly, then remove skin if you wish and cut squash into cubes. To make the brown butter, melt the butter over low heat, then raise heat slightly and let it cook gently, stirring frequently. Soon, the butter will begin to divide, with tiny but distinct creamy flecks, and will foam for a time. Add the sage and continue stirring frequently and watching closely for the magical moment when the flecks turn a deep golden brown and you catch a whiff of the delightfully sweet, toasty aroma of brown butter. Remove immediately from heat and pour over squash (and pasta if desired). Sprinkle with salt and/or parmesan cheese to taste and enjoy!