Add something different to your Thanksgiving table: spicy butternut squash recipe

We’re down for the count, ladies and gentlemen, and I’ll be brief.

My previous post was about Paris, filled with images of a city that is deeply close to my heart for reasons I cannot explain. On my first trip, I felt as if I had lived there for many, many years. It may be easy to feel that way while on vacation, but the feeling haunted me with each visit. Without getting too political on a site which I hope offers respite from the world of troubles, I just want to say that this year, I think we are collectively so very grateful to be safe today, to have a roof over our heads, to have good food, to share love and friendship with others, and to think of those less fortunate. It is my wish for you and everyone. Yes, let us all count our blessings. Happy Thanksgiving, one and all.

A few notes about the recipe:

Pre-peeled butternut squash has become commonplace in most markets, but you’d be surprised to find that the skin is quite delicate and peeling is not necessary. A whole, unpeeled squash will also be much fresher than one that has been peeled already, but no guilt if you go that route. I’m just saying: you don’t have to.

Pomegranate seeds are also a common market staple right now, and it’s fun (again, fresher) to seed them yourself. You will only need half a pomegranate for this recipe, but you can use the extra seeds in salads, or stir them into yogurt. See the recipe for an easy way to extract the seeds (and possibly take out a few frustrations in the process.)

Spicy roasted butternut squash with yogurt and pomegranate
Serves 4 (recipe can be multiplied)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon maras pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large (2 pounds) unpeeled butternut squash, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate (about 1/2 cup)
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Set the oven at 475 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

2. In a large bowl, stir the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, maras pepper, salt, and pepper until combined. Stir in the ginger and oil. Add the squash to the bowl. With your hands, toss to coat it with the spices.

3. On the baking sheet, spread the squash in one layer. Bake for 20 minutes, or until it is tender and browned at the edges. Transfer to a shallow serving dish.

4. Meanwhile, cut the pomegranate in half horizontally. Hold one half over a bowl with the seed side facing down. Use the back of a wooden spoon to firmly strike the skin several times all around to knock the seeds into the bowl.

5. In a bowl, stir the milk into the yogurt. Add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to make a thick sauce.

6. Drizzle the yogurt over the squash. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and cilantro. 

Posted on November 20, 2015 .