Roasting squash when it's chilly outside is one of my favorite things. The kitchen smells delicious while it's cooking, it's a great excuse to have the oven on which helps to heat the house, and at the end of the day you have a hardy and warm component to dinner! Spring officially greeted us this last weekend, but since there's snow falling outside today in Ketchum (quite the change from our 60 degree weather last week), today is the perfect day for a butternut squash recipe.
Last week I catered a dinner party for Rainforest Action Network, and in the spirit of all things sustainable and environmentally friendly, I prepared an entirely vegan meal. It's always important to find good balance while cooking vegan food, particularly when you're cooking for those who usually eat meat. I don't want anyone to feel as though they're missing something, so a hardy warm dish is key. Yet at the same time, a vegan meal that's too heavy isn't desirable either.
This dish has richness from the squash and olive oil, and earthiness from the sage and garlic. And those flavors are contrasted by the blood orange marinade which adds a brightness that prevents the dish from feeling heavy.
BLOOD ORANGE ROAST SQUASH
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 10 whole fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a glass baking dish, and let marinate for at least 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and place your baking dish in the oven for 45-60 minutes until the squash is tender and caramelized.