I choose to use the word ‘pumpkin’ just because I love the way it sounds but as far as I know butternut squash can also be used for this side dish. This is something I make at least once a week throughout winter. It gives us a chance to consume pumpkin or squash in a way other than its most popular dessert form, which is the most common way of pumpkin consumption in Turkey. If you would like to take a look at my “Candied Pumpkin Dessert” recipe you can click here.
If you’re not interested in desserts then let’s get on with these oven fries. Here’s how I make them…
- 500 gr (about 1 pound) squash or pumpkin
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, 1 tsp
- Black pepper, 1/2 tsp or more
- Nutmeg, 1/4 tsp
- Sweet or hot red paprika powder, 1/4 tsp or more
- A few small sprigs of fresh rosemary
- A few cloves of garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)
Step by step method
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- Preheat oven to 200 C (390 F) and line a tray with baking paper.
- Cut the squash into slices of about 1,5 -2 cm (1/2 or 3/4 inch) and then cut these slices to obtain finger sized pieces just like you would when making french fries (but a little thicker).
- Place them in a large bowl. Add all spices and olive oil as well as the leaves of fresh rosemary. Now mix well with both hands to make sure that each piece of pumpkin/squash is well coated.
- Leave out garlic cloves if you are using them. You should add them to the tray during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time to prevent them from burning.
Place them on the tray trying to avoid the pieces from overlapping. Place the tray in preheated oven and bake for about 25-35 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on your oven so make sure to keep an eye on them.
- Serve them as a side dish for meat or other main dishes or consume as a snack. We love to dip them in yoghurt!