Posted By admin on February 16, 2010
Wandering through the produce aisle in the heart of winter can be a rather dull experience as the bounty of growing season fades to a distant memory. As a lover of all things vegetable, I search for creative combinations to bring comfort on a recklessly windy, chilly day. As the stinging in my cheeks subsides, I am delighted to spot a basket of organic petite butternut squash and immediately dream of perfect pairings. Red onions roasting alongside the squash will bring their unique sweetness to the dish, while gently tossed baby spinach will add contrasting texture. A small scoop of cranberries will give flecks of color and a sweet and sour bite to the overall flavor.
Butternut squash, with its dense texture and mild sweetness, has earned its place among comfort foods. Whether draped alongside a roast or served with a simple sauté of chicken or fish, our featured side dish is the perfect perk for a cold evening.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Onion, Baby Spinach and Cranberries
1 small butternut squash, about 2 pounds, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 medium red onion, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 cup baby spinach
1 tablespoon dried cranberries, or more to taste
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the over to 400 degrees. To prepare squash, wash and peel, cut down the center and remove seeds from the cavity. Cut into 2 inch chunks. Cut the onion into 2 inch chunks, leaving the layers intact to avoid burning. Place squash and onion in the bottom of a broiler pan or large baking sheet with a low lip. Gently toss with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Roast for 15 minutes, gently toss and continue roasting until some caramelization has occurred, about 8-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on the vegetables to avoid burning.
When vegetables have finished roasting, move to a large serving dish and toss in baby spinach until slightly wilted. Add cranberries, mix lightly and serve.