Although pumpkin gets most of the attention at this time of year, we cannot forget about the butternut squash. Sure, maybe it’s not as flashy as the pumpkin. And you can’t really make jack-o-lanterns with them (well, maybe you could, but your kids would hate you). But butternut squash is a little bit easier to deal with when it comes to cooking. I’m obsessed with butternut squash fries and butternut squash soup? Amazing!
When my family came to visit us a few weeks ago, we spent a day in Chapel Hill and my husband and I both got butternut squash panini at a little sandwich shop there. Now, normally as a vegetarian, when you go to such places you have two options: grilled cheese or grilled portabello. Maybe if you’re lucky, there will be some kind of tomato mozzarella sandwich. Maybe! So imagine our delight to find a butternut squash sandwich on the menu. It was so simple and perfect, I knew I had to try to recreate it at home. Now if I can just figure out how to make the harissa ketchup they serve with their fries, we’ll be all set.
Roasted butternut squash makes a delicious (and different!) filling for panini.
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 tbsp. olive oil + additional olive oil to brush on bread
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 c. fresh sage, sliced into thin ribbons
- 1-7 oz. container fresh mozzarella medallions
- 8 thick slices hearty whole-wheat or sourdough bread (it needs to be sturdy--this is important!)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Brush butternut squash slices with olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown, turning halfway through.
- Preheat panini press to medium-high heat.
- Brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil. Divide squash, mozzarella, and sage evenly onto the non-oiled sides of 4 bread slices. Top with remaining slices of bread and grill until golden brown, about 8 minutes.