butternut squash fries

Balsamic Glazed Butternut Squash Fries Recipe

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t’s been about three to four weeks since my skin saw any sort of sunlight. Well, unless you count my recess time a few days a week where I sit in the shade and watch my students interact with each other (5th graders? Unstructured time? Best time to kid-watch. Ever.).

Sadly, this has meant my summer tan that I worked so hard on is fading. And by “working hard”, I meant laying on a pool chair reading a book while the rest of the world was working a 9-5 job in July. I’m so not sorry.

So this is where the butternut squash comes in. Last Thanksgiving my family noticed the palms of my hands were orange. I didn’t think that was odd. In fact, I kind of thought it made me look a little hardcore. Like I was all “I wonder if my hands could get any orangier (real word. I swear.) with all the beta carotene I eat?” And then my entire family made fun of me, and I felt like a freak.

But – whatever. This year, I’m older. I’m wiser. I’m more mature than my counterpart in Fall 2010. I know that having an Oompa Loompa glow could be quite a conversation starter. “why are you so… orange?” Oh you know.. sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, squash – why are you looking at me funny?

I’m hoping this year I can get so orange that I start to glow in the dark just like Ross’s teeth in that one Friends episode. Pleeasse tell me you’ve seen that episode. Please.

And since orange food rules my life in the fall, I figured it was only right to eat it on quite the epitome of a fall day – 87 degrees and humid.

In case you didn’t catch it, that was a joke. I don’t know what Chicago is up to lately, but she is quite a mess. 60 degrees one day, 90 degrees the next – make up your mind already! Therefore, I roasted these fries on the grill, letting the balsamic marinade sweeten and caramelize before my very eyes.

Yesterday I asked my Facebook friends what I should do with my squash. The common consensus was I should either make fries or make soup. How about I take my leftover fries to make soup? Now I’m using my noggin’.

Balsamic Glazed Butternut Squash Fries (serves Chelsey)

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Serves: 2
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Using a kitchen peeler, peel away the squash skin until the butternut squash meat is showing.

Then, using a sharp knife, cut your squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds in the middle. Cut each half in halves (width wise), so you are left with four equal sized parts. Then, cut matchsticks out of the butternut squash so they resemble French fries. After your butternut squash has been sliced, put i all in a zip lock bag, add your olive oil, balsamic, and spices and shake to coat.

Let the marinade sit for about 20 minutes before spreading the butternut squash in a single layer on a tin foil lined cookie sheet.

With your grill on a medium setting, cook for 25-30 minutes, flipping every so often to avoid burning.

I can feel the orange glow already.

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