November 27, 2013

Thanksgivukkah side dish!

We have a delicious pre-Thanksgiving potluck every year at my office, and every year we are so excited to show off our cooking skills and enjoy everyone's awesome dishes. This year I went out on a limb with an interesting combo, brought to me by Chow: roasted butternut squash and pears. Pears? Yes, pears.

I was skeptical, especially when I saw the recipe also called for onions, but Chow has never led me astray. This recipe is dead simple, even though the idea of all the peeling might make you delay it until it's 10pm the night before your party (or was that just me?)
Seriously, though-- you can have this all peeled, chopped, and cooking away in no time. It took me about 10 minutes total prep time to peel and chop the squash and pears, dice the onions, and get everything going.

I deviated slightly from the Chow recipe. I don't really like rosemary. Little bits are okay, perhaps in breads or side dishes, but too much and I feel as though I'm snacking on a pine cone. So I used whole cardamom pods-- I thought they'd be a nice partner with the squash.

While the roast butternut squash is baking, you can start sautéeing the onions. Once they're clear, bring in the pears! The whole time I made this, I was thinking "This is weird. This is not going to work." I totally intended to pick up a backup pumpkin pie if this dish didn't work out the way I hoped.
However, all of those fears went away with my first bite. The roasted squash is delightful, of course, but the sweetness of the pears, along with the slightly sweet/salty bite of the onions, those extras take this dish up another notch.

Pears AND onions?? Yes! 
It's simple and simply delicious-- the leftovers got better and better every week! If you're looking for a new way to dress up your side dishes, I highly recommend this recipe! Thanks again to Chow!!
Mmmm..roasted  veggies (I ate the brussels sprouts as a snack!)
Roasted Squash & Pears (adapted from this Chow recipe)

1 medium butternut squash (around 2 lbs)
2 Bosc pears (bought a few days ahead of time)
1 small yellow or white onion
Cardamom pods (I used a small handful, maybe 7-10, instead of rosemary)
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil

Wash, peel, and cut the squash and pears into cubes that are all about the same size. Dice your onion. Toss the squash and cardamom pods in a roasting pan with enough olive oil to coat, dash with salt & pepper, and baked about 25 minutes (until fork tender) at around 350.

While the squash is roasting, sauté the onions until clear (I used butter here), then add the pears. Sauté another 5-10 minutes, mixing well. Set aside.

Once squash is ready, toss all cooked ingredients together, put in serving dish. Let cool before refrigerating for later. Hint: this gets better overnight!

Happy Thanksgivukkah, Thanksgiving, or plain old Thursday-- however you spend it!

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