I love butternut squash and sage together and put this recipe together a couple years ago. The flavors of the roasted squash later tossed with browned butter and fried sage is balanced with spiced squash seeds. You can brown the butter to the degree you want, but I just brown it so a soft brown. This recipe calls for clarifying the butter before browning - this whole process including frying the sage can be done ahead and then just warmed up when the squash is roasted. Just be careful not to stir it at that point as you'll break the leaves. - ChezSuzanne —TheWimpyVegetarian
Test Kitchen Notes
I tested this dish and loved it. You can do most of the steps ahead of time and assemble it once the butternut squash is roasted. This recipe has so many wonderful flavors going on -- the sauteing of the squash seeds with chipotle, cayenne peppers and onion powder; the frying of the fresh sage leaves in brown butter. Last step was easy: just toss the roasted butternut squash with spiced seeds & sage brown butter. I loved this recipe, my house was full of wonderful aromas. I think it's a perfect side dish to turkey or chicken! I made it with Lemon-Garlic Roasted Chicken.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Peel the squash using a potato peeler. I use the type with a handle in the middle, allowing me to pull the peeler towards me. Cut the squash into 2" squares, reserving the seeds. Toss the squash in enough olive oil to coat the squash, spread out on a half sheet pan, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt. Roast until tender - about 20 - 25 minutes.
Rinse the seeds, removing all squash particles from them. Dry them completely. Toss them in enough olive oil to coat them and sprinkle 1/8 tsp salt, chipotle pepper, cayenne pepper and onion salt. Toss with a fork and place in an open foil packet. Roast in the oven with the squash until crispy - about 10 minutes.
Melt the butter in a medium frying pan until simmering. Once the water content of the butter boils off, remove the milk fats floating on top of the butter oil with a metal spoon. Try to remove as much as possible so that you have a completely clear butter. Continue to heat in order to brown the butter a few shades. I go to a soft golden brown. Throw the sage leaves in using a metal spoon to make sure they are completely covered with the browned butter oil. They should be finished frying within a couple minutes. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm. (This step can be done ahead and rewarmed, but keep the butter and sage in the pan - don't try to remove the leaves as they can be quite fragile.)
Remove the squash from the oven when tender and place in a serving bowl. Pour the browned clarified butter with the sage leaves over the squash, getting good coverage. Sprinkle the spicy seeds on top.