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Caramelized Squash Bites

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | December 22nd, 2010 | Appetizers, Recipes, Side Dishes
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caramelized butternut squashI think I have become obsessed with caramelizing foods.  As I started to write this post, I did a quick search of caramelized items in previous recipes.  I found recipes for the following caramelized items: onions, apples, puréed squash, and bananas.  While it may be a bit of an obsession, what is there not to like about foods with a sweet finish?

On a recent weekend, my husband and I spent our Sunday afternoon watching Christmas movies and cooking.  So, instead of planning a big Sunday dinner, we opted for an afternoon of appetizers.  One of the dishes we planned was individual cheese soufflés made with fresh ricotta.  As the soufflés would be light and on the salty side, I wanted something to balance the flavor, which, of course, led to caramelizing squash.  Although I already have a recipe for puréed caramelized squash, that would create a menu of only soft foods.  Plus, that recipe has more of a savory bite from the addition of rosemary and sage.  This recipe gives the squash and its caramel coating more prominence.

In addition to making a wonderful appetizer, this could be an easy way to convince your kids that they like squash.  With the sweet coating, you might be able to sneak it onto the plates of your pickier eaters.  Whatever way you eat it, savor every bite!

Caramelized Squash Bites


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Ingredients
  1. 3 Tb. butter
  2. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 Tb. molasses
  4. olive oil
  5. 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced*
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Place butter in a large bowl, and heat in a microwave until melted.
  3. Add sugar and molasses, and stir well.
  4. Add squash, and toss to coat.
  5. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with a small amount of oil.
  6. Pour squash onto baking sheet.
  7. Scrape any remaining butter mixture from bowl, and drizzle over squash.
  8. Place tray in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring the squash every 10 minutes to ensure even baking.
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