Other than Thanksgiving, I tend to be really complacent when it comes to sides. I mean, it takes a lot of effort on most nights just to get a main course on the table, so I usually just throw together a salad or toss some veggies in to roast--nothing that takes a lot of effort. But every so often I get pulled in by the looks of a special side and succumb, keeping my fingers crossed that the extra time, energy and ingredients will be worth it. My advice: RUN, don't walk to the store to pick up whatever you need to make this wonderful side because you need this in your belly TONIGHT!!!
I love butternut squash--so sweet, earthy and orange. Each piece a little gem! And while I truly do think it tastes better when you buy a whole squash and cut it up yourself, for this dish, especially on a busy weeknight, I would go the pre-cut, supermarket, cubed version. That squash rind is really hard and kinda dangerous to cut through and you want this to be a happy addition to the night, not a trip to the emergency room!!
Every bite is just the perfect balance of squash, lemon, chives and cream. Make this and you can probably even get away with boring old baked chicken breasts because nobody will be noticing the main course at all! Hmmm....maybe it's time to start rethinking my sides approach..
Roasted Butternut Squash with Lemon Vinaigrette
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time for Squash: 25-30 minutes roasting time; Prep Time for Vinaigrette: 5 minutes
For the squash
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes (or about 5 cups of precut squash, 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
For the Vinaigrette
- Juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper for seasoning
1. To make the squash: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place the squash on a large rimmed baking sheet and pour the oil all over it. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper and toss well to coat everything. Spread out into an even layer and roast for about 30 minutes, until squash is tender and golden. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
2. While the squash is roasting, make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and both oils together well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. When squash has cooled, add the heavy cream, chives and vinaigrette. Toss well and serve. This is good at room temperature, cold or can even be reheated if you want to serve it warm.
Note: Recipe adapted from The Lemonade Cookbook by Alan Jackson and JoAnn Cianciulli. The recipe originally calls for truffle oil on both the squash and in the vinaigrette but it's just so darn expensive and my local market didn't have it and when I tried the dish without it, it was so good anyway. Still if you want to you can add 1 tsp of it to the cooked squash and 1/4 tsp to the vinaigrette.