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Friday, February 5, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples

Butternut squash has become my new favorite vegetable. It is so sweet and delicious. With its tough skin, it can be somewhat intimidating but get yourself a good strong vegetable peeler and a sharp knife and you'll be set. It's a also a versatile vegetable, you can play up the sweetness or mix it with Parmesan cheese and savory spices (especially cumin or smoky chili powder) and it works great. I like it better with sweet spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and it pairs perfectly with apples.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples

1 butternut squash
1 large or 2 small apples
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 T olive oil (I used a citrus infused olive oil but you could also use regular olive oil and add a little orange zest if desired)
1 T brown sugar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel and chop squash. Start by cutting off the bulb part of the squash and slice off the end so it stands up easily. Peel both sections and then cut in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds (save them to be roasted later) and cut into large bite-size chunks. Peel and core apple and chop into large bite-size chunks.

Toss apple and squash chunks with olive oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle on cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Toss and spread in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, use a spatula to turn after about 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, squash should be fork tender. Sprinkle with brown sugar and add raisins. Stir again and bake an additional 5 minutes until raisins are soft.

I served this with Parmesan Panko Crusted Chicken... you can find the recipe here.

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