Fragrant vanilla-bean butter does double duty here—it both flavors the squash and softens the skin during roasting. The greater the variety of winter squash you use, the more interesting the dish will be.
Slideshow: More Squash Recipes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
4 pounds mixed squash (such as kabocha, Delicata and Red Kuri)—scrubbed,
seeded and sliced 1/2 inch thick
3 sage sprigs, plus 24 small sage leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a small saucepan, combine the butter and vanilla bean and seeds and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is deeply browned and has a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Discard the vanilla bean.
On a baking sheet, drizzle the squash and sage sprigs with the vanilla browned butter, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for about 25 minutes, turning once, until the squash is golden in spots and tender. Arrange on a serving platter. Discard the sage sprigs.
In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil. In batches, fry the sage leaves over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sage to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Scatter the fried sage over the squash and serve.
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