Fries are… kid food (for the kid in all of us), finger food, salty, sweet, crunchy, munchy, and just plain fun. Especially years ago when I didn’t want to touch much else at fast food restaurants. I’d just order a plate of fries and some ketchup. And they’re great for sharing with friends. It was never hard to find someone willing to share a big basket of fries with me.
While there’s nothing like a deep-fried potato strip, this recipe for butternut squash fries comes pretty darn close to fry heaven, with much less fat and starch. And an added benefit it is the vitamin A and C, and some iron and calcium thrown in for good measure. I might even go so far as to say it’s darn good and can hold a candle to almost any fry. Well, I might be stretching it a bit here, but these are worth the effort, and they taste great with homemade ketchup.
The first time I brought a butternut squash home I stared at it for quite a while, deciding how to make the first cut. I’ve now discovered that you can go either way – across the center or lengthwise. Either way, you’ll need to scoop out the seeds in the bottom rounder part, and peel or slice away the skin so that you just have the orange meat of the squash left.
Butternut Squash Fries
Ingredients (makes about 4 servings)
- 1 butternut squash (3 lbs or 1.4 kg), peeled and sliced into fries
- ½ teaspoon of salt (or more, if needed)
- ½ teaspoon of high heat oil (just enough to lightly coat each fry)
- Place the cut fries in a bowl, sprinkle the salt over the fries, and toss to fully coat each fry.
- Spread the fries out on a paper towel or cloth and let them sit for 30 minutes or so to sweat out moisture.
- Preheat your oven to 425° F/ 220° C.
- Wipe the moisture off the fries and then place them back in the bowl and blend with the oil.
- Place parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet and spread the fries out so they’re not touching.
- Bake the fries for 15 minutes on one side.
- Flip the fries over and bake for another 7 minutes, or until they are crisped on the edges.
- To crisp them a bit more, turn off the oven and leave them in for about 5 more minutes.
- Salt and pepper to taste. You can also reheat these fries at 400°F/200°C for 5 minutes.