Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Butternut Squash with Walnuts & Vanilla

This is one of those recipes that I feel like could be tinkered with to get it just right and then it would be perfect for my taste. While I could do that before posting it, I think its still a great, simple fall side dish that  would be a great hit at your Thanksgiving dinner so I don't want to miss sharing it. I think you need to try it and let me know what changes you think would make it better. Next time, I'd like to try adding some carmelized onions and some more fall spices like cinnamon. Either way I am a huge fan of butternut squash. I have always had a difficult time in recipes that call for it to be cubed but recently found a website that provided a super easy way. You can find that here. It tastes as good as it looks!

Recipe and photo courtesy Simply Recipes.
What You Need:
1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds, peeled, seeds removed, flesh cut into 1-inch cubes (see how to cut and peel a butternut squash)
1 heaping cup of walnuts
2-3 Tbsp butter
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Black pepper to taste

 Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat the cubed squash with a little oil and spread out onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and roast until the cubes begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and toast the walnuts. Stir frequently or they will burn. Once they they start to brown, and you can smell the aroma of toasted walnuts, remove from heat. Melt the butter in the pan with the walnuts over medium-high heat. Toss the walnuts to coat with butter, then add the squash. Toss them to coat with butter.  Add the grated ginger, vanilla extract, black pepper, a little salt and dried thyme and toss once more. Turn off the heat and squeeze some lemon juice over everything. Taste for salt and lemon and add more to taste. If you want this to be a bit more luxurious, mix in another tablespoon of butter or two  before serving. Serves 4. Enjoy!

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