I’ve had a bottle of Chinese Five-Spice powder in my cabinet for longer than I’ll admit. Let’s just say, it’s probably been in there way too long. I’m sure I had wonderful plans for it when I bought it. But, that jar has only gone as far as being opened long enough for me to take a nice long whiff of its sweet and spicy aroma. Until the other day…
Bells went off in my head as I tried to come up with a different way to use butternut squash and realized how perfect five-spice would be. Chinese Five-Spice is a combination of cinnamon, anise, fennel, clove and Szechwan peppercorns. Some combinations include ginger and licorice root in place of the peppercorns. Either variation will work great with this. The sweet and nutty flavor of the roasted butternut is so well suited for the flavors of the five-spice. The spicy fragrance fills the house as this is roasting. It’s really warming and sweet.
This simple recipe could not be easier and would make a fantastic side dish for a weeknight meal or for a holiday dinner. My family, some who have claimed not to like butternut squash, loved this so much that I made it twice in just the past week!
- 2½ to 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons Chinese Five-Spice powder
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Arrange butternut cubes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle the cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper, five-spice powder and maple syrup. Using your hands, toss it all together, getting all of the cubes coated.
- Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender.