Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Splendid Table
From Sunday Roasts: A Year's Worth of Mouthwatering Roasts, from Old-Fashioned Pot Roasts to Glorious Turkeys and Legs of Lamb by Betty Rosbottom (Chronicle Books, 2011). Copyright © 2011 by Betty Rosbottom.

Serves 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes if you purchase peeled butternut squash; 40 minutes if you peel and cube it yourself. 

Start-to-Finish Time: 55 minutes to 1-1/4 hours

 Although this dish calls for only a few ingredients, it delivers big, robust flavors and can be prepared almost completely in advance. The diced squash can be roasted several hours ahead so that at serving time all that is necessary is to arrange the cubes on a platter and sprinkle them with crumbled goat cheese, chopped walnuts, and minced parsley. My local supermarkets sell butternut squash that is already peeled and halved, and if you can find it in this convenient form, it will shave a good amount of time off the prep.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 3 pounds/1.4 kg butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-in/2.5 cm dice to make 8 cups 
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 cup/55 g walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup/115 g goat cheese, crumbled 
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley 

1. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C/gas 5.
2. Brush a heavy, rimmed baking sheet/tray with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spread the cubed squash in a single layer on the baking sheet/tray. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over the squash, and toss to coat well. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper.
3. Roast the squash, stirring every 10 minutes, until it is tender when pierced with a knife and browned around the edges, for about 35 minutes or longer. Remove and set aside. (The squash can be roasted 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, reheat in a 350°F/180°C/gas 4 oven until warm, for about 15 minutes.)
4. Place the roasted squash cubes on a serving platter and sprinkle with walnuts, goat cheese, and parsley. 

Market Note: Look for peeled butternut squash in the produce section of the supermarket. About 40 ounces/1.2 kg of this peeled squash should yield 8 cups. If you buy a whole squash, look for one that weighs 2-1/2 to 3 pounds/1.2 to 1.4 kg before peeling.

 Cooking Tip: To toast the walnuts, spread them on a rimmed baking sheet/tray and place in a preheated 350°F/180°C/gas 4 oven until lightly browned and fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes. Watch carefully so that they do not burn. Remove and cool.

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