Grilled butternut is nutty and slightly sweet butternut squash cooked by application of dry heat on gas grill or charcoal grill over medium-high heat setting. Butternut is commonly grilled in cubed form either in a baking dish or after being wrapped in aluminum foil. One of the variations suggests stuffing de-seeded and hollowed out butternut squash with ingredients like feta cheese and spinach, and then grilling them after being wrapped in aluminum foil.
Butternut is a winter squash, quite popular in South African and American cuisines (particularly central and south America), with the grilled version commonly served along with soups and grilled meat.
As per the simplest grilled butternut recipe, partially cooked butternut squash through boiling process is rinsed under cold water, and then grilled on hot grill. The squash is brushed with olive oil and seasoned with pepper and salt prior to grilling. The butternut squash pieces are threaded onto skewers and then grilled until tender and brown, while being basted with olive oil and seasoning mix during grilling. The seasoning mix may consist of salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper. One of the grilled butternut squash recipes suggests wrapping olive oil brushed and seasoned butternut squash spears in aluminum foil and grilling them twice, with the second time grilled after removing the foil. This grilled squash can also be prepared by first marinating it in a mix of olive oil, thyme, garlic, vinegar, and seasonings, and then grilling it until tender and slightly charred. The natural sweetness of the grilled butternut can be enhanced by sprinkling a mix of cinnamon and sugar over butternut squash cubes, and then grilling them on hot grill in a baking dish, while stirring then frequently. Fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary are often used to garnish the grilled squash.
- The grilled butternut squash is served with soup as starter dish.
- The grilled squash pairs well with spicy and smoky Mexican pork kebobs. Other forms of grilled meat also pair well with the grilled squash.
Nutrition and Health Facts
Grilled butternut possesses the goodness of butternut squash, with 28 g of the squash providing around 11 calories obtained from 0.3 g of protein, 2.3 g of carbohydrate, and 0.4 g of fiber. The health benefits associated with some of the vital nutrients contained in butternut squash are discussed below:
- Vitamin A- the squash is rich in vitamin A, which acts as powerful antioxidant, and helps in maintaining appropriate health of the skin. This essential vitamin helps in improving the vision, and protecting the human being from oral cavity and lung cancers.
- Monounsaturated fats- butternut, being a good source of monounsaturated fats, is believed to be good for cardiac health.