Recipe: Butternut squash with fresh cranberries

I made this back in October, when fresh cranberries were cheap at the local grocery store and I was really craving a savory way to use them. Well, this has honey and brown sugar in it, but it’s not too sweet, and my addition of onions tips it into the dinner, rather than dessert, category. It needs some protein on the side to make it a meal (smoked salmon or chicken tenders worked for me).

As suggested by post that inspired me, I made about half of the leftovers into a pretty tasty soup by putting about 4 cups of the mixture into a blender, adding diluted chicken stock up to about the level of the squash in the blender jar, and blending until smooth. The resulting soup desperately needed spices (which I ended up adding to each bowl indiviually afterward). Some combination of cumin, curry powder, smoked paprika, more thyme, salt, and pepper (not all of them together!)

Butternut Squash with Fresh Cranberries

Yield: 6-8 servings

Adapted from: Plated + Served.

2 small onions, peeled and cut into wedges
1 2.5-3 lb. butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
2-3 Tbsp honey
2 c fresh cranberries
1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 Tbsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet or large roasting pan with foil. Add onion and squash pieces to a large bowl. In a small bowl, thin honey with 1/3 c warm water; add dried thyme if not using fresh. Pour over squash and onions and toss to coat. Move squash and onions to baking sheet, spread in an even layer, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and add cranberries; stir gently. If desired, sprinkle the top with brown sugar. Bake approximately 5 minutes longer, until squash is fork tender and onions and cranberries are soft (a few may burst). Remove from oven and top with fresh thyme leaves (if using) before serving.

For leftover soup: put leftovers in a blender. Add vegetable or chicken stock to the blender container and blend until you have the consistency of the soup you desire. Place in a saucepan on the stove and add spices to taste (suggestions: cumin+curry powder, chili powder, thyme+oregano+red pepper flakes). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

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