12 December 2014

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Pecans

I know the title is a mouthful, but there are so many flavors going on in this dish, I still couldn't name them all.  Roasted mushrooms, pecans and cranberries complement this caramelized butternut squash, and the whole thing is topped off with soft goat cheese.  Or at least, it should be.  Due to unforeseen events, I am unable to provide photos with the goat cheese version...sigh. 
Oh, and did I mention that the squash is tossed with a killer combo of extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, and hot chili sauce?  You don't want to miss this.
Start with a squash.  Cut it in half, scoop out the soft, stringy part.  Save some seeds if you want!  You can grow your own next year.
Peel and cube the squash.  I used a vegetable peeler, it worked okay.
This bowl was perfect for coating the squash in extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup (from Michigan!), hot chili sauce, salt and pepper.
Scatter the squash cubes on a baking sheet and bake for half an hour at 400 degrees F.
Remove the squash from the oven, add the (optional) mushrooms and pecans and roast for an additional 20-25 minutes.
Finally, add the cranberries and when mixed, top with goat cheese.  Or don't.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Pecans (loosely inspired by this)
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs maple syrup (can sub 2 tbs brown sugar)
  • 2 tbs hot chili sauce (Sriracha or chili garlic sauce work)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 c. mushrooms, roughly chopped (half an 8 oz package) - optional
  • 1/3 c pecan pieces
  • 1/3 c cranberries
  • 3 to 4 oz goat cheese.
1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2.  Halve the squash.  Remove the seeds and stringy bits.  Peel and cube the squash.
3.  In a large bowl, coat the squash with the olive oil, maple syrup, chili sauce, salt and pepper.  Spread the squash out on a large baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes.
4.  Take the squash out of the oven and gently stir.  Add in the mushrooms and pecans.  Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes until the squash is tender.
5.  Put the squash into a serving bowl.  Stir in the cranberries.  Top with goat cheese.  Serve!
I don't really like squash.  I mean, I'll eat it.  But it's one of those things I can really only eat once in a great while.  I had so much spaghetti squash back when I was doing Paleo that it will likely be several years before I'm willing to give that one a try again.  That being said, this dish was delicious.  My favorite part was the pecans, Kyle's favorite was the mushrooms.  They just really push this dish over the top, it's just bursting with flavors.  The little bit of heat from the chili sauce is perfect.

So maybe squash and I will make peace after all.

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