Butternut Squash with Walnuts and Vanilla

 

Butternut squash is my absolute favorite squash – sweet and delicate flavored without a real stringy texture.  Use a Y-shaped peeler to quickly and easily peel the squash. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds, peeled, seeds removed, flesh cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • 1 heaping cup of walnuts (can substitute pecans or pine nuts)
  • 2-3 Tbsp butter or Earth Balance
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat the cubed squash with a little vegetable oil and spread out onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and roast until the cubes begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and toast the walnuts. Stir frequently or they will burn. Once they start to brown, and you can smell the aroma of toasted walnuts, remove from heat.

3. Melt the butter in the pan with the walnuts over medium-high heat. Toss the walnuts to coat with butter, then add the squash. Toss them to coat with butter.

4. Add the grated ginger, vanilla extract, black pepper, a little salt and dried thyme and toss once more. Turn off the heat and squeeze some lemon juice over everything. Taste for salt and lemon and add more to taste. If you want this to be a bit more luxurious, mix in another tablespoon of butter or two before serving.

 

 

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