Roasted Winter Squash with Brown Butter, Sweet Spice Gastrique, and Pecorino

Source: Mark Gordon, Terzo

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on October 3, 2015.

Makes 4 servings


Sweet Spiced Gastrique
(yields 1¼ cups)
3 cups apple cider vinegar    
1 cup honey (something neutral, like wildflower)
1 pod star anise
5 allspice berries
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 cups peeled, seeded, and medium-diced winter squash (butternut, delicata, acorn, etc.)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus a bit more for serving
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons brown butter
2 tablespoons gastrique
½ cup toasted walnuts
2 ounces aged pecorino cheese


To make the gastrique: Pour the vinegar into a non-reactive pot and slowly reduce to 1 cup over medium-low heat. In the meantime, grind the spices with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Set aside. When the vinegar has reduced, whisk in the honey. Reduce the mixture to 1¼ cups. Be careful when reducing, as the liquid has a tendency to bubble over. You will need to watch the pot and take it off the heat if bubbles form. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes, and it should thicken slightly. Stir in the ground spices and cool to room temperature.

To make the squash: Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss together the diced squash, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer it to a parchment-lined sheet tray in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes. With a spatula, turn the squash over and cook for another 7 to 8 minutes, or until slightly brown and tender. Place the cooked squash in a large bowl, drizzle the brown butter and gastrique over the squash, and gently toss.

To serve: Toss the walnuts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Divide the squash among 4 plates, sprinkle with the walnuts, and grate the pecorino over the top. Serve warm.

Photo by Megan Liamos.

Farmers Market Ingredients