Craving potatoes? Hash browns? Don't want to eat potatoes? Perfect - this will solve that problem for you.
During my research and experimentation with butternut squash, I thought, "Why does everything call for thyme?!" And once I started getting into kitchen tests I realized "Oh, because it's almost always amazing. Duh!" This pairing - butternut squash and thyme - is one of those cases where you shouldn't fix something that isn't broke.
And it's true - the thyme is the magic in this dish. The simple sweet and nutty flavor of the butternut announced by the fragrant thyme making this a wonderfully simple and elegant side dish to just about anything. It goes particularly well with any type of roast or whole meat - beef roast, pork loin, whole chicken, or a side dish at Thanksgiving. It's perfect because while the meat is cooking in the oven, you can sizzle this up on the stove.
A final note to those who are feeling ambitiously lazy: you can buy pre-diced butternut squash at most grocery stores to avoid peeling, hulling, and dicing it yourself.
1 large butternut squash
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons cold butter
Salt/Pepper to taste
Peel, hull, and dice the squash.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium high. Add diced squash, spreading into a single layer. Cook about five minutes, until brown. Toss occasionally to brown additional sides - about another five minutes. After squash is mostly browned turn heat to medium low, add thyme and salt, and cover. Cook an additional 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until squash is tender when poked with a fork.
Remove from heat, add butter and gently stir or toss until butter is melted. Serve hot.
Short hand: Brown squash on med high, add thyme, butter, and salt, cover for 10-15 additional mins, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add butter, stir til melted. Serve