Oh, hello there. Don’t mind me, just slipping back in here after a month of radio silence. That seems to be my MO when life gets crazy. And “get crazy,” it has. The short version: I suffered a pretty bad injury about three weeks ago, had to have surgery the day after Thanksgiving to repair damage to my foot, was high on pain killers for a week, and am SORT OF getting back to real life, finally. It is so crazy how something that seems so tiny (two broken toes) can throw you for such a loop (okay, they were both severelybroken). I still have a ways to go in recovery, unfortunately. Right now I have a pin in my toe (sticking OUT of my toe! KILL ME.) and am getting around with a combination of crutches and hobbling around on a walking boot. It’s a cute look! 🙂
Thankfully, I am feeling okay and haven’t had to pull out the Big Gun painkillers for a few days. It is SUCH an improvement from where I was a week ago! Hoping, praying, crossing my fingers every day that they will be able to remove the pin soon and I’ll be able to wear a sock again – a luxury I never appreciated before all this.
Okay – ENOUGH foot talk! Let’s get to the point of this post: food!!
Want the truth? I created this recipe for Thanksgiving and meant to post it weeks ago. Clearly, that did not happen. Thankfully, though, this delish side dish will work for Christmas too! This is a GREAT way to sneak some veggies into the spread – and they taste amazing to boot.
Are there certain things in your life that just seem too complicated to face, so you ignore them? Butternut squash is one of those for me – or it used to be, before I got to know it. It can seem intimidating, but really it’s quite easy to work with once you get the hang of it.
I’ll prove it. First tip: Get rid of the veggie peeler! It’s not going to do you much good if you want to get this thing broken down efficiently. Instead, grab a nice, sharp knife, and let’s get to work.
First, slice off the top and bottom of the squash to give yourself a flat surface to work with. Cut the squash in half at the bottom of the neck, where the base starts to curve.
It’ll look like this:
You’ll notice the neck is free of any squashy seed mess, while the base is full of it. Let’s tackle the neck first.
Using your knife, cut down the side of the squash to remove the skin:
Once you’ve finished skinning the neck (haha – gag!), proceed to the base. You’ll eventually have this situation going on:
Now, we’ll chop up the neck. (I’m having too much fun with this.) Slice the neck into four even segments:
Place two pieces down flat on the cutting board, stacking one on top of the other, and slice those into four even pieces.
Next, dice those slices into cubes. We’re going for 1/2-1″ cubes, no larger. If your squash is particularly giant, you may need to make an additional cut. You do you.
Dice up the other half of the neck (where’s my “awkward” emoji when I need it??), then let’s move onto the GUTS of the operation.
Slice that base in half, and you’ll expose all the seedy, fleshy, goopy part of the squash. You can save the seeds and roast them if you’re fancy. Or, do like me and use an ice cream/cookie dough scoop to scrape all that gunk out and throw it directly into the garbage.
The ice cream scoop works way better than any of my spoons. It’s a nice sturdy, sharp-ish edge that cleans the squash out so quickly. I recommend it!
Once the goop is gone, slice the base into four quarters, then slice the quarters in half so you wind up with eight slices. Then dice those up the same way you did the neck.
You’re done with the hard part of this recipe. Next, you’ll just trim some Brussels sprouts and roast. it. up.
Thirty minutes in a hot oven, and you’ll go from this:
Totally yum as-is, but I like to top it with a sweet and tangy maple dijon sauce to bring it into side dish HEAVEN.
Maple dijon roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Break down the butternut squash and dice into ½-1″ pieces (refer to this post for instructions).
Trim the stems off the Brussels sprouts and slice the sprouts in half.
Cover a large baking sheet with foil, then combine the squash and sprouts on the pan.
Pour the oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper over the veggies. Use your hands to mix, coating the squash and sprouts well.
Roast in the oven for 25-40 minutes. Time will vary depending on the size of your veggies and your oven. Check at 25 minutes, and if they’re not quite ready, continue to cook, checking every 5 minutes for doneness.
While the veggies are cooking, combine the maple syrup, dijon mustard, and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
When the veggies come out of the oven, pour the sauce mixture over them and stir, making sure all the veggies are coated.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time – this is a great addition to any menu!