Butternut squash is a fall and winter staple at our house. I don't have the strength and patience to peel and chop them, so I am forever indebted to my local markets who do the work for me. As if butternut squash alone is not enough, this dish includes roasted nuts and seeds and a healthy, smoky, sweet sauce.
Roasted Butternut Squash With Charred Eggplant And Pomegranate Molasses
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1" chunks
4 T olive oil
1T shelled pumpkin seeds
1T raw sunflower seeds
1T sesame seeds
10 g sliced raw almonds
10 g basil leaves
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- and for the sauce
1 medium eggplant
150 g Greek yogurt, room temperature
2 T olive oil
1t+1/2t pomegranate molasses (*)
3 T lemon juice
1 T chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
Roast the squash
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Lay the butter squash cubes on the sheet in a single layer and brush with 2 T olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bake until the squash is soft and starting to turn golden on down facing sides, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter to cool. Drizzle with remaining 2 T of olive oil.
Toast the seeds and nuts
Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the seeds and nuts in a single layer. Roast until fragrant and slightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove, let cool slightly and then sprinkle over the butternut squash.
Make the sauce
Set oven on broil. Place eggplant on a baking sheet lined with foil. Broil just a few inches from the flame until skin begins to blister and burn slightly. Flip the eggplant over and repeat. Remove eggplant from oven, arm yourself with an oven mitt and cut in half length-wise. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and seeds, leaving behind the burnt skin, and place in a colander to drain for 10 minutes. In a bowl, combine drained eggplant flesh and all sauce ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange basil leaves on and around the squash. Transfer sauce to a serving bowl and serve along side the butternut squash.
(*) Found in Middle Eastern markets, gourmet markets and online.