Once the weather starts to turn colder, you will see a decided shift in the produce section of the grocery store. Where once there were vibrant zucchini and summer squash, there now sits an array of oddly shaped squashes ranging in size from acorn to butternut. It's this latter squash that deservedly gets the most attention. Its sweet, nutty flavor makes it perfect for a number of different dishes. However, if you want to get a deeper flavor from your butternut squash, top it with some flavored breadcrumbs.
There are a lot of ways you could go about doing this, but the general premise remains the same. Bring in additional flavors and texture to really make the squash pop. A great place to start is with Provencal breadcrumbs. Also known as Provencal crust, this is a classic recipe combining fine bread crumbs with classic herbs and aromatics from the south of France. Rosemary, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, anchovies, and butter all come together to make for one umami-packed hit that, when paired with the nutty sweetness of the butternut squash, makes for a truly flavorful mouthful.
While Provence is a great starting point, you should by no means limit yourself to just sticking with traditional herb and spice combinations. Various other flavors pair really well with butternut squash, and could lead you down some pretty interesting, and tasty roads if you let them.
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More Flavors For Breadcrumbs
To make breadcrumbs from scratch you really only need some day-old, stale bread that you can grate finely with a food processor. That's the base you work from. It can be any kind of bread you choose, either artisan, home-baked, or pre-sliced store-bought. Just make sure it's stale so you get the best possible crumb and absorption of flavor without things getting soggy.
As far as herbs and spices, you would be hard-pressed to find ones that do not go with butternut squash; sage, thyme, basil, ginger, parsley, chili, coriander, oregano, curry powder, garam masala, the list is practically endless. Mix these in with your bread crumbs and serve them atop the butternut squash. It could be a garnish for roasted butternut squash or butternut squash soup. You could even use it as a crust for a butternut squash casserole and bake it in the oven to get the bread crumbs really crispy.
The experimentation is really up to you. There are very few ways you could go wrong because the flavor of the butternut squash goes so well with so many things. So, if you've got a pantry full of herbs and spices and some stale bread lying around, mix yourself up some bread crumbs and go to town on a squash. It's definitely worth a try.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.