Roasted winter squash recipe with cranberries, pepitas and honey-lime vinaigrette
A great side dish doesn't need to be complicated. In fact, its glory lies in simplicity, so as not to outshine the entree, and this recipe for roasted winter squash is a perfect example. Roasting draws out the natural sweetness of the vegetable -- try butternut, buttercup, acorn or delicata -- and when you marry that with the tart lime in the dressing, and a bit of honey or agave nectar for balance, it makes an ideal companion for a roast chicken or pork tenderloin, or a piece of steamed cod. If you're cooking with kids who aren't too keen on vegetables, let them help with the plating; it's fun and easy to make faces with the slices of squash, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
Roasted winter squash with cranberries, pepitas and honey-lime vinaigrette
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, sliced in half lengthwise, then into 1/4-inch half moons
2 tsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp honey or agave nectar, or to taste
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt, to taste
Fresh black pepper, to taste
2-3 Tbsp dried cranberries
2-3 Tbsp raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Spread the squash slices on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat both sides. Roast for 20 minutes; then, turn the slices over and roast for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and turn on the broiler. Place the pan under the broiler and cook for 2 minutes, until the squash begins to brown on the edges.
While the squash is cooking, combine lime juice, honey or agave, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until the dressing comes together. Taste, and adjust to your taste. The dressing should be more tart than sweet.
When the squash is cooked, arrange the slices on a serving plate, Sprinkle the dried cranberries and pepitas all around, and spoon the dressing over the top, using only as much as you need (you can save any extra vinaigrette for another recipe).
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Warm salad of kamut, cranberries and feta
Butternut squash macaroni and cheese
Squash, sweet potato and carrot soup
Polenta, squash and cheese loaf
Dried cranberry and pear chutney
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Borlotti bean mole with roast winter squash, from 101 Cookbooks
Zucchini cookies with chocolate chips and dried cranberries, from Two Peas and Their Pod
Cranberry nut bread, from Simply Recipes
Jalapeño and lime hummus, from Gluten-Free Goddess
Grilled or pan roasted pork tenderloin in honey lime chipotle marinade, from Chaos in the Kitchen