Recipe: Baked butternut squash with brown butter

The other night I was making myself a simple seasonal dinner, and as I always do, I posted a note on my Facebook about how freaking amazing my apartment smelled. My friend Clemence from the Gourmandise Cooking School replied to my status, asking if she could borrow the recipe for today's newsletter, which was awesome because it forced me to get the recipe down on virtual paper.  So, here it is: butternut squash with brown butter. Prepare to make your neighbors jealous.

Baked butternut squash with brown butter

1 medium sized butternut squash

3 tablespoons butter (2 for the bake, 1 per serving for the brown butter sauce)

2 cloves garlic, smashed

8 sage leaves

kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400. While it's warming up, place a 12 inch baking dish inside with 2 tablespoons butter to get it all nice and melty. Remove the dish once the butter is melted. Cut your butternut squash in half, then place sage leaves on the fleshy orange side of the squash in a lateral pattern. (Don't worry about the seeds, you'll take those out later.) Season with salt and pepper, then place the squash face down into your buttery pan. Tuck the smashed garlic cloves underneath the seedy bits. They're just there for aromatics anyhow. After about 30 minutes, check on your squash. It's cooked through when the flesh is tender to the poke of a paring knife. After it's been out of the oven for 5 minutes, it should be cool enough to pick up and begin plating. Cut in 1/2 inch slices, then trace the skin off with a paring knife. Serve your squash with a simple brown butter sauce, which is basically just butter, salt, and a spring of sage cooked slow and low in a sauté pan until it turns a gorgeous, nutty brown.  Since I'm single, I only made enough for myself, which is where the 1 extra tablespoon butter came in. Yes, I'm aware that's a generous serving of butter for one. What can I say? I love my butter! And to be fair I did eat half of a butternut squash for dinner, so it all balances out.