I haven't had butternut in years, but I was drawn to Cara's fries-made-from-sqaush. Today, I bought a butternut squash for the first time ever. I never saw my mom prepare it, so I didn't even know what it looked like inside (and I was, for some reason, surprised!). Well, as Cara suggests, I parboiled first. Then I dabbed with evoo and sprinkled with some homemade Essence. (Looking at Cara's blog, I now realized I didn't put them in the ice bath after parboiling.... no worries, they were no worse for wear). I fired up non-other than my toaster oven (just lazy, really) and put them at about 375 degrees F for maybe 20 minutes.
These are SERIOUSLY good. I don't know if it's just because essence may quite effectively void all other flavors, but it did NOT taste like my mother's butternut squash. There is a new squash lover out there, all thanks to Cara.