Happy November!! Welcome to the start of the holiday season! What a difference a day makes, right? I have been biding my time, waiting on pins and needles for October to end so I could post this. Not like there’s any rule against sharing Thanksgiving dishes before November, but I don’t know—something in my little blogging soul put the kabosh on it. So, I’m especially excited for the start of this new month because it means I get to share this amazing savory crumble with you. It’s truly genius!
Would that it were my own idea, but no, it comes straight from renowned chef and pastry expert, David Lebovitz, who takes a dish that you normally think of as dessert and turns it into the most delicious side! Thank god, for his brilliance because you are going to love, love, love this!!
And it’s so simple too! The filling is just butternut squash sautéed with shallots and a little chicken broth and then baked so it’s tender and starting to caramelize.
The topping is a savory mix of what you’d normally top a fruit crumble with— so instead of stuff like brown sugar and cinnamon, there’s fresh breadcrumbs, cornmeal, Parmesan cheese and butter. It’s addictively crunchy and crispy!
Every bite really hits the bliss point!
And though I haven’t tried it yet, I suspect you can prepare most of this ahead and just do the last minute browning of the crumble part right before you want to serve, which makes it a perfect turkey day dish! This will definitely be making an appearance at our house this year and from the way the three of us gobbled it up, I’m thinking that I might have to at least triple the recipe!!
And on a side note, let me know if there are any dishes you’d like to see posted for Thanksgiving (or really any time on these pages) and please, please share any of your favorite holiday dishes with me! I’d love to have them!!
Savory Butternut Squash Crumble
Makes about 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes; Bake Time: About 1 hour
For the Squash
2 tablespoons butter, divided, plus additional for greasing the baking dish
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced, divided
1 cup chicken broth, divided
Handful of freshly chopped parsley
For the Crumble
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup stone-ground cornmeal or polenta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 375ºF and generously butter a 9x13-inch (or similar sized) baking dish. Set aside
To make the squash: Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté half of the squash, adding a pinch of salt and pepper during the process, stirring often, until the squash begins to brown on all sides. Add half of the shallots and cook for a few minutes, until the shallots have softened. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring, to allow the liquid to reduce. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Do not wash the skillet.
Wipe the skillet clean and add the remaining butter and oil to it. Heat again and repeat Step 2. Scrape the mixture into the dish with the previously cooked squash mixture, add the parsley and give it all a little stir. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Test the squash with a knife to see that it is soft when you poke it.
While the squash is cooking, make the crumble: Place the breadcrumbs, cornmeal, cheese, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse a couple of times to combine. Add in the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is incorporated. Add the egg and pulse a few more times just until the mixture starts to clump together. If you don’t have a food processor, you can make this by hand, using a pastry blender.
When the squash is tender, remove the foil and sprinkle the crumble all across the top evenly. Lower the oven to 350ºF and bake the dish uncovered for another 20 minutes or so, until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately.
You can definitely make this a day ahead. I would prepare the squash through Step 3 and then cool it to room temp and cover and chill. You could also make the crumble and store it in a separate container in the fridge as well. Before you’re ready to serve, I would try to take the squash out about an hour before cooking so it comes to room temperature and then just top it with the crumble before you bake it.
Note: Recipe adapted from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. I cut the minced thyme from the filling and the minced sage from the crumble.