Monday, February 10, 2014

Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash with Cumin

cumin roasted butternut squash
The following simple recipe has become Greg's favorite for butternut squash. You could probably substitute sweet potatoes for the squash if you are not on a low-carb diet, or substitute other hard winter squashes like Hubbard, kabocha or West Indian calabaza.

The cumin, garlic and hot pepper make this side dish an excellent option for Mexican or Indian main courses, and it's also appropriate for a vegetarian or vegan meal. Roasted butternut squash is also a good choice as an accompaniment for grilled or roasted poultry or red meat.

To make the butternut squash easier to cut, I recommend peeling it first, using a regular potato peeler. It removes just enough of the hard rind in a thin layer without wasting any of the edible flesh. And once the squash is peeled in this manner, it takes far less effort to halve and cube the squash or trim the ends.

1 medium butternut squash, approx. 2 lbs
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves roasted garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (a few twists from your pepper mill)
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, as garnish

roasting butternut squash
Peel the squash, cut in half, scoop out the seeds, then cut the squash into small cubes (no larger than 1"). Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss the squash with the olive oil, oregano, cumin seeds, chili powder, red pepper, salt & black pepper until evenly coated. Spread evenly onto a baking sheet or shallow roasting pan in a single layer. Roast at 400°F until fork-tender and golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring once or twice for even cooking. Transfer to large bowl, stir in the minced roasted garlic and cilantro or parsley, then serve. Makes 4 servings.

Zestfully yours,

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