As a child, I used to stick up my nose at the yucky yam casserole served every year at our Thanksgiving dinners. Even though it was sweet there was just something nasty about the thick pasty texture combined with crunchy pecans that did not appeal to my young palate. But fortunately I’ve come to appreciate the savory flavors of winter squash. They belong to Thanksgiving. Whether it’s is sweet potatoes, yams, acorn or butternut squash, the vibrant, familiar orange vegetables add so much nutrient and flavor vitality to your feast. And roasting your vegetables brings out a whole other level of flavors produced by the caramelization of the sugars in the vegetables. Hopefully your kids won’t be as picky as I was and give these sweet morsels a try.
This dish along with the previous three posts: Pumpkin Cheesecake Pudding Parfaits, Slow Cooker Roasted Turkey and Citrus Green Beans with Almonds all represent a simplification of the Thanksgiving feast. We’re all looking to reduce and simplify our lives and that includes Thanksgiving dinner. BUT we don’t want to sacrifice flavors. This dish is so simple compared to traditional sweet potato casseroles typically served. It starts by buying the pre-cut butternut squash cubes now available at grocery stores and at Costco. Toss them with flavorful olive oil, fresh rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper and throw it in the oven (a hot 400 degree oven, I might add!) and let the heat do it’s magical roasting which brings out the natural sweetness and deepened flavors. This recipe is adapted from Maybe I Will, a fitness and healthy recipe blog.
- Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 3-lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes (I buy the precut cubes at Costco)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp fresh or 1 Tbsp dried rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 4 strips center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- Toss butternut squash, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Turn out onto a large baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until squash is soft and golden browned, tossing halfway through baking to re-coat and evenly bake.
- Remove from oven and top with nuts, bacon and cheese. Serve immediately.