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Elegant Butternut Squash



– 1 (3-pound) butternut squash, peeled and cubed (1/2 inch; about 6 cups)
– 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
– 1/2 cup green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (pepitas; not toasted)
– 1/2 cup packed cilantro sprigs
– 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


• Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.
• Toss butternut squash with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then arrange in 1 layer in a 17- by 12- by 1-inch baking pan and roast, turning occasionally, until golden brown on edges, 20 to 25 minutes.
• Meanwhile, toast pumpkin seeds in 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until seeds are puffed and beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a large plate and cool.
• Pulse cooled seeds in a food processor with cilantro, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and remaining tablespoon oil to a coarse paste (not finely ground).
• Toss squash with pesto and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.