Sweet squash gets dressed up for fall

Chef Michael Chiarello, the acclaimed chef and owner of Bottega Restaurant in Napa Valley, and the Emmy-winning host of “Easy Entertaining With Michael Chiarello,” is known for using the best veg of the season to create unique and mouthwatering dishes. In this recipe, he pairs one of autumn’s sweetest squashes, butternut squash, with mushrooms and dresses them both up with brown butter vinaigrette.

Chef’s introduction: I love that burrata complements rich, caramelized autumn vegetables just as easily as it dresses up summer tomatoes, figs, or watermelon. Because it’s so light, it adds the perfect fresh, creamy note to the plate. You can use any combination of mushrooms here. I like matsutakes, chanterelles, shiitakes, or morels but use what looks best at the farmers’ market or in the produce section.

I give the squash a little heat on the stove top before I put it in the oven to roast.

Wine pairing: A fruity Napa Valley Cabernet

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Serves 6


    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more if needed
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 5 cups 1-inch cubes butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • Brown butter vinaigrette

    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • Pinch of sea salt, preferably gray salt, or kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1/2 tablespoon if needed
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 1/2 cups mushrooms, any variety, preferably wild
    • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
    • Sea salt, preferably gray salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 12 ounces (3 balls) burrata


Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400º F. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat and add the butter and the olive oil. When the butter foams, add the squash and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until caramelized and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Slide the pan into the oven and roast until a deeper brown on the edges, about 20 minutes. For the vinaigrette: Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter, and when it foams, brown the sage for just a minute, and then pour in the vinegar and let it reduce by half. Don’t stir or touch it. Just keep it at a simmer, gently reducing until thickened. When it’s the consistency of a light syrup, add the salt. Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the stove while you sauté the mushrooms.Heat a medium sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add the 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the butter foams, add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to release their water, about 8 minutes. Add the shallots to the pan and sauté until brown, 3 to 4 minutes, tossing so they cook evenly. Season with salt and pepper and add another 1/2 tablespoon of butter if they look dry.Divide the squash and the mushrooms evenly among 6 plates. Tear the burrata into pieces, scattering them over the vegetables. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.


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