Roasted Butternut Squash over Wilted Arugula

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Sweet and savory with maple laced pecans and oven roasted butternut squash. Add crumbled feta or goat cheese for an extra layer of flavor.

Vibrant colors of orange and green make this dish a hit at any autumn harvest table. The added sweetness of a good quality balsamic vinegar (fig is nice) blends all the flavors together and tempers the peppery bite of the arugula.

Serve it as a salad or a side ….with what else? Turkey, of course.

2 – 3 cups cubed butternut squash
2 – 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, minced
1 bunch arugula
1/2 cup pecans
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
Balsamic vinegar (aged with syrupy consistency)
Optional: crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Split butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds and stringy fiber. Peel each half with a vegetable peeler and cut into cubes of similar size.

Place squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Toss  to evenly coat, adding more oil if needed. Sprinkle with garlic powder (I like Simply Organic’s finely granulated garlic powder). Salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until tender.  Some pieces should be caramelized from roasting in the pan.

Meanwhile, toss maple syrup and pecans in a heavy skillet on medium heat until syrup bubbles but does not burn. Remove and cool.

In large bowl, toss arugula with a very light coating of the Dijon Lemon Vinaigrette. Add red onion (scallions can be substituted as shown in the picture) and pecan. Place hot-out-of-the-oven squash on top of arugula and toss. Greens will unevenly wilt for nice texture. Add optional cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve.

Creamy “No Cream” Butternut Squash Soup

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Velvety smooth and non-dairy with just a pinch of spice makes this soup delightful on a winter’s day.

My butternut squash soup is laced with a bit of curry and a dash of chili. And it’s so easy to make when the cumbersome job of peeling a butternut squash is avoided. Slice it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds then bake in the oven in a bain-marie bath.

When ready to serve, sprinkle my Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Seeds on top or add a dollop of creme fraiche.

1 medium sized butternut squash, cut lengthwise, seeds removed
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups organic vegetable broth
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt & pepper to taste

Place squash flat sides down in a 9 x 13 oven proof glass baking dish. Sprinkle carrots around the squash and fill the baking dish with an inch of water (bain-marie). Bake for approximately 1 hour or when a knife can be easily inserted into the squash. Let cool.  Scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Place aside with the drained cooked carrots.

In a large stock pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Stir until softened. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Let cool a bit. Puree with an emulsion blender or in a high powered blender (mine is a Vitamix).

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cinnamon

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A colorful side dish spiced with cinnamon

Local butternut squash and maple syrup are usually available this time of year at winter farmer’s markets popping up in many towns.  Drizzle syrup over oven roasted halves and add a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Or toss squash cubes with olive oil, syrup and cinnamon and roast till caramelized.

Ingredients
1- 3 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 8 cups)
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon cinnamon
Salt & pepper to taste

On a baking sheet or iron skillet, toss squash, EVOO, syrup and cinnamon to throughly coat, adding extra if needed. Salt and pepper to taste. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of your cubes or until a knife goes easily through the squash flesh. If the underside of the cubes have not caramelized and browned a bit, broil the tops for a few minutes, careful not to burn.  Serves 8.