My friend in Grand Junction Colorado gave me a few of her butternut squash when I was on a recent trip to her state. In addition to that, we had our own harvest of butternut squash here in Los Angeles. So, what to do with all that squash? Well, there is the typical soup, ravioli filling, and I even enchiladas. Or you can just do whole roasted butternut squash in a couple easy steps. This recipe could change the way you look at your butternut squash. So, move that butternut squash from being a table centerpiece to being your main course for dinner, or at least a side dish. It can also make a great Thanksgiving vegan entree, that in my opinion is way better, and less processed than Tofurkey or other vegan turkey substitutes. Because it isn’t meant to be anything like turkey. It just celebrates the squash, and makes it the star of the day. You can use this idea with any whole squash: delicata, pumpkin, you name it.Enjoy trying this out and let me know how you liked it in the comments.
whole roasted butternut squash with tomatillo-pepita sauce & pomegranate
For the squash:
1 whole butternut squash
1/8 cup pomegranate seeds
1/8 cup raw pepitas
For the sauce:
5-6 tomatillos, husks removed, cut into quarters
1/2 medium onion, cut into chunks
1 jalapeño, seeds removed, cut into large pieces (if you like it less spicy try half a jalapeño)
4 garlic cloves, cut into quarters
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup loosely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1/4 cup water
1/2 lime, juiced
1-2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional, for flavor enhancement)
Additional sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, sturdy metal skewer, or tines of a fork, poke several holes all around the squash. Place the squash in an oven proof baking dish, and place in the over. Roast for about an hour, or until the entire squash is soft to the touch. The skin will brown and blister in places, and that’s okay.
For the sauce, roast the tomatillos, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and cumin seeds in another baking dish. Roast at 400° F for 20-30 minutes, or until everything is tender and simmering. When the tomatillo mixture is ready, put in the blender, along with the remaining sauce ingredients, and blend until it takes on a smooth consistency. Set aside until you are ready to use it. The jalapeños will mellow out and blend in over time.
When the squash is ready, remove it from the pan, and let sit on the counter until it becomes cool enough to handle, but not too cold. Slice the squash into thick slices, and gently peel away the skin from each slice of squash. The skin should come away fairly easily. If there are any seeds in the middle of each squash, you can gently scrape them out of the center of the slice using a fork. But about half of the squash will be solid squash all the way through.
To serve, place some of the sauce on a plate, and place a couple slices of squash on the sauce. Sprinkle with some pomegranate seeds, and then some pipitas. Sprinkle a little sea salt and fresh pepper on top before serving. You can also use the same assembly method and put together a platter to serve family style.
Great herbs to sprinkle on this for additional garnish are thyme, sage, parsley, rosemary, or marjoram.
Check out other butternut squash recipes here!