Roasted Winter Squash with Brown Butter, Sweet Spice Gastrique, and Pecorino | CUESA

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Roasted Winter Squash with Brown Butter, Sweet Spice Gastrique, and Pecorino


Mark Gordon, Terzo

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on October 3, 2015.

Makes 4 servings


Sweet Spiced Gastrique
(yields 1¼ cups)
3 cups apple cider vinegar    
1 cup honey (something neutral, like wildflower)
1 pod star anise
5 allspice berries
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 cups peeled, seeded, and medium-diced winter squash (butternut, delicata, acorn, etc.)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus a bit more for serving
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons brown butter
2 tablespoons gastrique
½ cup toasted walnuts
2 ounces aged pecorino cheese


To make the gastrique: Pour the vinegar into a non-reactive pot and slowly reduce to 1 cup over medium-low heat. In the meantime, grind the spices with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Set aside. When the vinegar has reduced, whisk in the honey. Reduce the mixture to 1¼ cups. Be careful when reducing, as the liquid has a tendency to bubble over. You will need to watch the pot and take it off the heat if bubbles form. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes, and it should thicken slightly. Stir in the ground spices and cool to room temperature.

To make the squash: Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss together the diced squash, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer it to a parchment-lined sheet tray in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes. With a spatula, turn the squash over and cook for another 7 to 8 minutes, or until slightly brown and tender. Place the cooked squash in a large bowl, drizzle the brown butter and gastrique over the squash, and gently toss.

To serve: Toss the walnuts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Divide the squash among 4 plates, sprinkle with the walnuts, and grate the pecorino over the top. Serve warm.

Photo by Megan Liamos.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »