Roasted Pumpkin with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage is an incredibly easy dish that brings together all the fabulous flavors of the Fall. Effortless enough for everyday, but perfect for the Holidays!
Pumpkin wedges are roasted to tender, caramelized perfection, then drizzled with a simple brown butter and crispy sage leaves for an outstanding combination of Fall texture and flavor.
I love the simplicity and the unexpectedness of this dish. The inspiration came from a recent trip where my daughter and I visited Rome and pumpkin was everywhere. It seems like here in the States, Pumpkin is primarily considered only for pies and breakfast breads, almost always sweet and seldom savory. In Rome, our experience was exactly the opposite.
Pumpkin was a common ingredient in fresh pasta, both as a filling like in ravioli and tortellini, and as a flavor of the freshly made pasta itself. One of my favorite dishes was a pumpkin flower stuffed with cheeses and lightly fried tempura style that was simply amazing! Both pumpkin flowers and the flesh itself even regularly appear on different varieties of pizza.
In Rome, every neighborhood has it’s own farmers type market, sometimes indoors, sometimes outdoors with a variety of vendors like fresh produce, handmade, fresh pasta, meats, cheeses, made to order food items, and many others. The fresh produce available was stunningly gorgeous, including the variety of different pumpkins and squashes, most of which I’ve never seen before. I wish I had better pictures of the pumpkins. To some extent, pumpkin and squash were used and referred to almost interchangeably.
Here is the States, I think we may have less varieties that are frequently used for cooking, but what we do have is very good. Most of the common cooking pumpkins found at large supermarkets are labeled as Pie or Sugar Pumpkins. Local farmers markets will often have other choices, but the important thing to know is that all pumpkins are not grown to be good as cooking pumpkins. Jack-O-Lantern types, specifically, do not cook well as the flesh is stringy and doesn’t taste as good. Here is an article about some of the different kinds on pumpkins best for cooking.
How to make Roasted Pumpkin with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage
Begin by choosing a Pie, Sugar, or other cooking Pumpkin. Cut off the top and the bottom of the pumpkin.
A towel can be helpful to rest the pumpkin on to prevent it from slipping on the cutting board while you are cutting it.
Next, cut it in half vertically and scrape out the seeds and the strings. Save the seeds if you would like to roast them later.
Cut the pumpkin into quarters and then into consistent width wedges. Place them on a large baking sheet and toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.
After the pumpkin starts to brown and caramelize, remove it from the oven. On a medium heat, begin to melt the butter. As soon as it is almost all melted, add the sage leaves.
Simmer the butter and sage leaves for 2-3 minutes until the butter starts to darken to gold and smell nutty. Pour the butter and sage on the roasted pumpkin and serve. The sage leaves crisp up as they sit and dry for a minute of two. Sprinkle with large flake sea salt if you wish as a garnish.
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Roasted Pumpkin with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage
- 4-6 pound Pie or Sugar Pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, fresh ground
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 24 sage leaves, fresh
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut off the top and the bottom of the pumpkin, and then cut it in half vertically. Remove the seeds and scrape the inside of the pumpkin to remove any strings. Cut into uniform wedges, about 3/4" wide, leaving the skin on. See photos above.
- Place the pumpkin wedges on a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes until tender and the pumpkin wedges start to brown and caramelize around the edges.
- In a small frying pan or sauce pan, begin to melt the butter using a medium heat. As soon as the butter is almost all melted, add the sage leaves.
- Continue to cook the butter and sage leaves until the butter starts to simmer, smells nutty, and deepens to dark gold in color.
- Immediately pour the butter and sage leaves over the pumpkin slices and serve.