Good basic vegetable dishes ... we need to be eating more of them. As the colder seasons begin creeping closer, I'm dusting off the recipes for soups and stews, and chilis, and roasted meats, and oven-prepared vegetables. This squash dish went so well with the chicken mole I made last week. You might choose to have it with a simple roasted chicken or a crusty pork roast, or a simple spinach salad. There's always room for another basic veg recipe... enjoy.
Let me say that this recipe would work with any hard winter squash ... butternut, hubbard, patty pan, acorn, et. al. Let me also say that this recipe came to me originally as 'Roasted Sweet Potatoes'. I have added the toasted pepitas to bring a Mexican flavor to the dish ... and it works nicely. You might like toasted walnuts or sunflower seeds, or pecans.
So simple and so good for you ... this squash has nothing added in the way of sugar. The roasting process brings out the natural sugars in the squash and the herbs and nuts complement them in a really good way. This is a good recipe for a night when you have a couple other higher maintenance dishes going, because you can prep everything way ahead and just toss the squash on the roasting pan and into the oven and forget it for the set roasting time. Toss with the toasted seeds just before serving the rest of the meal and that's it.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Pepitas
1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 c. pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted in a tiny amount of butter
Making the Dish:
1. Toss the prepared squash in a plastic bag with the olive oil, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper until the oil coats the pieces.
2. Turn the squash onto a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with foil.
3. Roast in a 400 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil, and turn the pieces and continue roasting for another 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Toast the pepitas in a small pan on top of the stove.
5. Turn the roasted squash into a serving dish and top with the pepitas, correct the salt and pepper and serve.