Roasted Butternut Squash with Gochujang and Sesame

2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, sliced ¼” thick
Scallions, thinly sliced
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425°. Whisk sesame seeds, oil, gochujang, and soy sauce in a large bowl. Add squash and toss to coat. Divide squash between 2 rimmed baking sheets, arranging in a single layer. Roast, rotating sheets once, until tender and browned on some edges, 25–30 minutes. Serve topped with scallions and salt.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Spicy Onion

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons honey

1 cup blanched hazelnuts
2 large butternut squash (about 4 lb.), peeled, seeded, sliced ¼” thick
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
4 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, stirring often, until lightly charred and softened but not falling apart, 5–7 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and toss to combine. Remove pan from heat and mix in lime juice and honey. Let cool, then mix in lime zest.

DO AHEAD: Spicy onions can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast hazelnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.

Increase oven temperature to 400°. Toss squash and 1/4 cup oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Divide between 2 rimmed baking sheets; reserve bowl. Roast, undisturbed, until tender, 15–20 minutes.

Return squash to bowl; add hazelnuts, parsley, mint, marjoram, and spicy onions, and toss to combine.

Transfer squash mixture to a large serving platter, crumble goat cheese over, and drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil.

Roasted Carrots with Creamy Nuoc Cham

2 pounds medium carrots, scrubbed
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Kosher salt
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
2 red Thai chiles, sliced
1 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 425°. Toss carrots and 2 Tbsp. oil on a large rimmed baking sheet and season with salt. Roast, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, 20–25 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring shallot, chiles, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, and 2 Tbsp. water to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook just until aromatics are soft, 8–10 minutes (you don’t want the liquid to reduce much). Let cool. Transfer to a blender, add lime juice and mayonnaise, and blend until smooth. With motor running, gradually stream in remaining ¼ cup oil; blend until emulsified. Season dressing with salt.

Drizzle dressing over carrots just before serving.

Do Ahead: Dressing can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Skillet Roasted Butternut Squash with Spiced Chickpeas

1 small butternut squash (about 1½ pounds)
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
5 garlic cloves, 1 finely grated, 4 chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, patted dry
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vadouvan or curry powder
2 radishes, trimmed, very thinly sliced
1 cup parsley, mint, and/or cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°. Roast squash directly on oven rack until a paring knife poked through skin easily slides through flesh, 50–65 minutes. Let squash cool until you can handle. Trim ends, halve lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. Tear or cut squash into large pieces; discard skin (it will come off easily as you tear).

Meanwhile, mix yogurt, grated garlic, and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high.

Cook chickpeas, shaking skillet often, until starting to brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.

Add onion and chopped garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in vadouvan and cook, stirring, until chickpeas and onion are coated and mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a medium bowl. Wipe out skillet.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high. Cook squash pieces, cut side down, undisturbed, until browned and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Turn pieces over, remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon chickpea mixture over squash, then dollop reserved lemon-garlic yogurt around.

Toss radishes, herbs, and pomegranate seeds, if using, with remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a small bowl; drizzle with a splash of oil and season with salt and pepper. Scatter over squash and chickpeas. Finish with a grind or two of pepper.

Harissa and Maple-Roasted Carrots

2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon harissa paste
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds small rainbow carrots, scrubbed, tops trimmed to about ½”, halved
1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed

Preheat oven to 450°. Whisk garlic, oil, maple syrup, harissa, and cumin seeds in a small bowl; season garlic mixture with salt and pepper.

Toss carrots and lemon with garlic mixture in a large roasting pan to coat; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until carrots are tender and lemons are caramelized, 35–40 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Carrots can be roasted 6 hours ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Bring to room temperature or reheat slightly before serving.

Pork Shoulder Braised with Apples

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
5 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 6 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup Calvados or other apple-flavored brandy
1 1/4 cups apple cider, preferably fresh
2 tablespoons (or more) apple cider vinegar
3 tart, firm apples (such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (about 4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Chopped fresh chives

Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 325°. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until browned and crisp, 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add butter to pot with drippings. Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Working in batches if needed, cook pork shoulder, reducing heat as needed to prevent overbrowning, until brown on all sides, 8-10 minutes per batch. Transfer pork shoulder to a plate.
Add shallots to pot and cook, stirring often, until shallots begin to soften, about 4 minutes.

Remove pot from heat; add Calvados and stir, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Return to heat and simmer for 1 minute. Add apple cider and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Bring to a simmer, then return pork shoulder to pot, placing in a single layer on bottom of pot (the meat should not be completely covered).

Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise pork shoulder, turning after 1 hour, until fork-tender, about 2 hours. Stir in reserved bacon. DO AHEAD: Bacon and pork shoulder can be cooked 2 days ahead. Let cool in braising liquid, uncovered. Chill, uncovered, until cold; cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.

Using tongs, transfer pork to a deep platter. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Place pot over medium heat and bring liquid to a simmer. Add apples and cook until apples are just tender and sauce is slightly reduced, 8-10 minutes.
Stir Dijon mustard into sauce; season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Pour sauce with apples over pork on platter. Sprinkle with chives.

Serve with Cheesy Grits.

Miso Glazed Root Vegetables

1 pound carrots, scrubbed and cut into large chunks
8 medium beets, peeled cut into thin wedges
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
(you could also use parsnips, turnips, radishes, butternut squash, acorn squash, or pumpkin––whatever the fall harvest has in store)
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 scallion, chopped (optional)
Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spread the vegetables out on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast the veggies in the oven for 45 minutes, until crisp on the outside.
In the final 10 minutes of roasting time, make the glaze. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in the miso paste, mirin, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer and bubble for 2 minutes.

Pour over the vegetables, toss, and arrange on a platter. Garnish with scallions if desired. Serve!

Maple and Cider Glazed Sweet Potatoes

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/3-inch-thick
2/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons salted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 400°. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and arrange the potatoes in it. In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over the potatoes; then sprinkle the butter pieces evenly over all. Cover the pan with foil and bake 25 minutes.

Uncover the pan and baste the potatoes generously with the liquid. Cook, uncovered, basting thoroughly every 15 minutes, for 45 minutes longer. Sprinkle the pecans over all and baste one more time; then bake until the potatoes are shiny, glazed, and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes more. Serve hot.

Sweet Patatas Bravas

2 pounds sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (I use Morton’s)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 large garlic clove (or 2 small), minced

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into large (roughly 1 1/2-inch) chunks. Add to a naked, rimmed sheet tray, then toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the salt. Roast—stirring the potatoes halfway through—until they’re just tender and beginning to brown, about 24 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the tomato paste, sherry vinegar, hot sauce, and smoked paprika in a bowl.

In another bowl, mix the mayonnaise, garlic, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. (Both sauces can be prepared days in advance, then refrigerated!)

When the potatoes are done, let them hang out for about 10 minutes. Drizzle with the tomato dressing and gently toss. Transfer to a platter and zigzag with the garlicky mayo. Serve warm.

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Cooking spray or butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 to 5 medium), peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray; set aside.

Place the cream, butter, garlic, and bay leaf in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Meanwhile, combine the thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

Evenly distribute about half of the potatoes over the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the salt and herb mixture. Add the remaining potatoes in an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning.

Remove the bay leaf from the cream and discard. Pour the cream and garlic over the potatoes. Push down to submerge them as much as possible. The potatoes won’t be fully submerged — that’s okay. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes more. Remove the baking dish from the oven. Turn on the oven’s broiler. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the potatoes. Broil until the cheese is melted and the top is lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Let the sweet potatoes cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds total), cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F.

Place the potatoes, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer the potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes. Flip the potatoes over with a flat spatula and cook until browned and tender, about 10 minutes more.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Set the oven to broil. Sprinkle the potatoes with the garlic and half of the cheese and stir to coat well. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the potatoes. Broil until the cheese is soft and melted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Recipe Notes
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Whipped Sweet Poatoes with Coconut Milk and Vanilla Bean

2 to 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 to 5 medium)
1/2 cup coconut milk (or whole milk or cream)
2 to 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
Ground cinnamon, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley leaves or coconut flakes, for garnish (optional)

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Pierce the sweet potatoes a few times with a sharp knife. Place them on the baking sheet and roast until tender and a knife easily pricks through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set aside to cool until cool enough to handle.

Halve the potatoes lengthwise, scoop of the flesh, and run the flesh through a potato ricer or food mill into a large bowl.

Meanwhile, combine the coconut milk, brown sugar, butter, vanilla bean paste, a few dashes of cinnamon, and a generous pinch of salt in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.

Add the warmed milk mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, into the potatoes, and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until smooth and fluffy. (You may not use all of the milk mixture.)

Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more sugar, cinnamon, or salt as needed. Serve immediately. Garnish with the parsley or coconut flakes if using.

Recipe Notes
Make ahead: This recipe can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat (or keep warm), place the bowl of potatoes over a bowl of simmering water, stirring occasionally.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Sweet Potatoes with Apple Butter

4 pounds sweet potatoes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup apple butter
Salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until very tender.

Peel the sweet potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher until creamy, then mash in the butter and apple butter. Season with salt and serve.

Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1/4 cup canola oil
2 1/4 pounds baby brussels sprouts or regular brussels sprouts halved lengthwise
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and softened
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup Grade A pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped (6 ounces)
1 tablespoon walnut oil

Heat the canola oil in a very large skillet until shimmering. Add the brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper, then cook over high heat without stirring until they are browned, about 2 minutes. Add the unsalted butter and brown sugar and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the brown sugar is melted. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring occasionally, until the brussels sprouts are just crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cider vinegar. Add the chestnuts and walnut oil and cook until hot.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the brussels sprouts and chestnuts to a bowl. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the brussels sprouts and serve.

Baked Gobi Manchurian

4 cups chopped cauliflower
1 cup chopped onions
1 large bell pepper chopped or eight small little ones
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon turmeric

For the sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce

Line a sheet pan with foil and turn on your broiler.

Sprinkle the veggies with oil, salt, and turmeric.

Mix well and place veggies on foil-lined sheet.

Broil for 30 minutes or so until the veggies are cooked.

Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients and microwave for 30 seconds. Let this sit while the veggies cook.

When the veggies are done, remove from the oven and pour sauce on them, mixing as you go.

Roast Beef with Root Vegetable Salad

1 pound sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 pound celery root, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 pound golden beets, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
4 large unpeeled garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
One 1 1/2-pound eye of round beef roast, trimmed of visible fat
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons brined green peppercorns, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon of brine
1 teaspoon honey
4 cups baby arugula (about 3 ounces)

Preheat the oven to 425° and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, parsnips, celery root, beets and garlic cloves with 3 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt. Spread the vegetables on the baking sheet and roast on the bottom rack of the oven for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until browned and very tender. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a medium ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Season the roast with salt. Add it to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the roast to a plate and pour off the fat in the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cook, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the pan juices into the large bowl.

Return the meat to the skillet and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 115° for medium-rare meat. Transfer the roast to a board; season with black pepper.

Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins into the meat juices in the bowl and mash with a fork. Whisk in the vinegar, peppercorns, brine and honey. Add the roasted vegetables to the bowl and toss with the dressing. Add the arugula and toss again.

Carve the roast into thin slices and serve warm or at room temperature with the salad.

Grilled Broccoli and Bread Salad with Pickled Shallots

2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup agave syrup
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
Kosher salt
Grated zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
1 pound broccoli, cut into long spears, stems peeled
1/2 pound vegan ciabatta, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Maple-Ginger Roasted Vegetables with Pecans

1 1/2 cups pecans
4 medium carrots (3/4 pound), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias
2 large parsnips (1 pound), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias
1 medium head cauliflower (2 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch florets
1 small butternut squash (2 pounds)—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 425. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, squash and brussels sprouts with the olive oil and nutmeg and season generously with salt and black pepper. Spread the vegetables on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for 30 minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown. Scatter the pecans and ginger over the vegetables and drizzle with the maple syrup; toss well. Continue to roast the vegetables for 25 minutes longer, until they are tender and golden. Scrape the vegetables into a bowl and serve hot or at room temperature.

MAKE AHEAD
The roasted vegetables can be kept at room temperature for up to two hours before serving.

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad with Feta

1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 small sweet potato (about 8 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 small celery root (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 small beet, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 ounce feta, crumbled (1/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 425. In a medium roasting pan, toss the onion, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, celery root and beet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots.

Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a work surface and coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the lemon juice, mustard and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fold in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables and walnuts to the dressing and toss. Top the salad with the feta and serve warm or at room temperature.

MAKE AHEAD
The roasted winter vegetables and dressing can be refrigerated separately overnight. Rewarm the roasted vegetables before serving.

Pan-Seared Butternut Squash

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
5 fresh sage leaves, sliced into a very thin chiffonade
Leaves of 4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 medium (2 pound) butternut squash, peeled and cut into uniform 3/4-inch cubes, about 5 cups worth (if buying pre-cut squash, you’ll need about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses (See Recipe Note)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Handful of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese shavings, to serve

Heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch cast iron pan, or a large sauté pan or skillet, over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the thyme and sage and fry them for 30 seconds. Add the squash, immediately toss to coat with the oil, and spread the squash out into as much of a single layer as possible. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or longer, stirring occasionally, until the sides of the cubes vary from light to dark brown and the squash is tender all the way through when poked with a fork. Pay attention to the heat under the pan, taking care not to burn the outsides before the middles are soft, but don’t fear failure if a few of the cubes darken to near black here and there. As the squash cooks, stir and scrape often with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula that can do the work of getting the tasty bits up off the bottom of the pan without scraping it silly.

While the squash cooks, briskly whisk together the molasses, balsamic and olive oil and set it aside.

As soon as squash is tender throughout, sprinkle with salt and pepper, adding more to taste. Transfer the butternut to a platter and drizzle with the balsamic vinaigrette. Scatter the shards of cheese over top and serve immediately.

Leftovers, if any, can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days and reheated in a hot pan until warm. They are also excellent in an arugula salad with red onions and more of the same balsamic dressing.