If you want an appetizer that will blow minds and take almost no effort or expense on your part, make this gluten-free squash appetizer recipe. One butternut squash goes a long way in feeding a crowd, and sautéing it in butter creates heavenly results, especially when contrasted by crunchy fried sage. In truth, the squash–drizzled in honey–is so good, you can easily leave off the feta cheese if you want to appeal to dairy-free guests. But a finishing sprinkle of cheese adds lovely contrasting salty-creamy flavor and visual contrast.

Roasted Squash with Feta, Honey, and Fried Sage

This effortless appetizer by our pal and GFF contributor Christiann Koepke is seduction on a stick. Seriously. For a dairy-free version, substitute olive oil for butter and toasted, sliced almonds for the feta. Note: this recipe requires skewers, though you could serve the squash on a platter with toothpicks.
Servings 12 people

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter divided
  • 1 bunch fresh sage stems removed and discarded, with a few leaves reserved for garnish (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 pounds butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 2 by 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons honey slightly warmed to pour
  • 2 ounces fresh crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Warm a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons butter and melt. Add the sage to the pan, toss it in the butter, and brown until lightly crisped, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside, reserving the skillet.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the sea salt to the skillet with the butter used to fry the sage and heat over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Add the squash, toss quickly to coat, and cook, tossing once or twice, until the squash is lightly browned on at least one side, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the squash to a baking sheet, arranging it in one well-spaced layer. Roast until the squash is crispy and firm outside and soft on the inside, 20 to 25 minutes.

  3. When cool enough to handle, skewer 3 to 5 squash cubes on 6- to 8-inch skewers.
  4. Drizzle with honey to lightly coat, sprinkle with the feta cheese, crumble and sprinkle the fried sage, and garnish the platter with a few whole leaves, if desired. Enjoy warm.

Photo Christine Han