Buttercup Squash Fries
1 medium-sized buttercup squash (about 3 to 4 pounds)
About 3 Tbsp. olive oil (add 1 Tbsp for greasing pan if you aren’t using parchment paper)
1/4 tsp salt
Optional coating for the fries
2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp cornmeal
Sage Aioli (this is the sauce to dip into, optional).
1 raw egg yolk at room temperature
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup mild olive oil
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
2 cloves of crushed garlic (more or less depending on your taste)6 to 8 fresh sage leaves chopped very finely
Preheat your oven to 450F. Slice the squash in half and scoop out all the seeds and stringy flesh. Next, you can either peel the two squash halves using a potato peeler, but I found it was less time-consuming to initially leave the skin on and begin by slicing the squash into fry-sized pieces and then cut away or peel the skins off. I found that a slightly thicker fry yielded best results. Somewhere between a half to three quarters of an inch thick.
Next place all the french fry sticks in a bowl and toss with about 3 Tbsp of olive oil (start with 2 Tbsp, and add more as needed to cover all fries and make them nice and slippery but not dripping with oil). If using the coating, mix the cornstarch, cornmeal, and salt together in a little bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the oiled fries and toss gently to coat all the fries. (If you prefer to opt out of the coating, simply sprinkle the salt on the fries and toss).
Lay down the fries on either a parchment-lined baking sheet or an oiled on (about 1 Tbsp. olive oil is plenty to oil the pan). (I recommend using parchment paper because the fries will bake more evenly and be less prone to burning). Be sure the fries are spread out and not touching or overlapping. If you need to, use a second pan.
Bake for 15 minutes. Check the fries and if they are getting nicely browned underneath, flip them over (very delicately so they don’t get mashed) and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and add salt as needed. Remove from the oven and serve hot!
To make the aioli, be sure your egg yolk is at room temperature. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt in with the egg yolk. Very very slowly, pour in a tiny stream of olive oil while whisking vigorously. Continue until the mixture thickens significantly and both oils are used up. Whisk in the crushed garlic and chopped sage and voila! Be sure to refrigerate your aioli if not using right away because it has raw egg yolk in it.