contributed by Melissa Roberts
Squash and sage are quintessential flavors of fall, particularly a northeastern autumn. Here they are featured in a waffle that, drenched with maple syrup, fits in easily on the breakfast table.
Yet these waffles also have a savory side with the addition of roasted butternut and earthy sage, a unique side dish to grace the dinner table. Replace the browned butter with a non-dairy substitute (margarine or Earth’s Balance, but melt it, don’t brown) and enjoy alongside roasted or fried chicken.
As long as we’re talking waffles, a little clarification on maple syrup.
Grade “A” syrup, harvested at the beginning of the sugaring season, is lighter and mild, while grade “B” is thicker and richer (think light vs. dark beer). While “B” grade is thought to be ideal for cooking and “A” for drizzling; in our house, “B” does double duty as both ingredient and condiment, preferable because of its deep maple flavor (and smaller price tag).
Trader Joe’s sells an excellent “B” grade syrup.
These savory/sweet waffles may be enjoyed at breakfast or used as a side for dinner. Use non-dairy margarine (Earth Balance) if waffles accompany a meat dish.
*Canned pumpkin puree can be used in place of the roasted butternut squash
- 1 (2 ¼ to 2 ½ lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1” pieces*
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 ¾ cups milk (cow, coconut or unsweetened plain almond)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup, preferably Grade B, plus more for serving
- Preheat oven to 425F with rack in middle.
- Line a 4 sided baking sheet with foil (preferably nonstick). Place squash on pan in single layer, drizzle with oil, then toss to coat. Sprinkle lightly with some salt. Roast until very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool to warm. Reduce oven temperature to 250F.
- Place squash in a food processor and puree. Measure out 1 cup. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sage, baking powder, and salt.
- Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook until butter is golden brown and has a nutty fragrance.
- Measure out 4 tablespoons of the browned butter (reserve remaining to brush waffle iron) and place in another bowl with pureed squash, milk, eggs, and syrup. Whisk until smooth.
- Add liquid ingredients to dry and whisk until smooth. Batter will be thick.
- Heat waffle iron. Brush lightly with reserved brown butter.
- Measure out 2/3 cup of batter and place in the center of waffle mold, close lid, and cook according to manufacturer's instructions until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer as cooked to rack in oven to keep warm, keeping waffles in 1 layer to stay crisp.
- Make more waffles in same manner brushing with some butter in between each batch.
- Serve drizzled with syrup.
Special equipment: waffle iron