Roasted Squash and Sweet Potatoes

I stepped away from my tart pan today to bring you one of my other loves. A few years ago I had a mild obsession with butternut squash. I made risotto, fries, soup, ravioli, pastas, salads, you name it I probably made it. My trademark dish is butternut squash lasagna. I make it every year for Christmas…and never any other time. I meant to blog about it last year but in the rush of Christmas cookies, gift wrapping, and other shenanigans, it fell through. I promise to share it this year. It’s really good. And not difficult.

Butternut squash is by far my favorite squash, although it is my very least favorite one to clean. The others like acorn and spaghetti are so much easier because you just cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. Butternut squash have a really horrid shape and when you aren’t just mashing them up, it’s a pain to clean them. To make it easier you can do what I do. Delegate the peeling and cleaning job to your dishwasher. If you’re stuck with the task, don’t worry. It can be made easier. First, buy a tall, straight squash. If you’re just going to roast it and mash it up, go ahead and get a squat, round squash. But if you’re going to use cubes or fries of squash, go for a long one.

Peel the straight portion of the squash and cut it off. Trim the skin off the round section by slicing the skin off with a sharp knife. Set the squash on a cutting board to do this. Spoon out the seeds and you’re all set.

This recipe was completely and totally influenced by the awesome purple sweet potato I bought at the market, on a whim. I am an impluse-market buyer for certain. I bought the squash this weekend, not really knowing what I wanted to make with it but knowing that it was ‘time’ for squash. I figured something would come to me.

This recipe was inspired by the Sweet Potato and Leek Hash that I posted about last spring. Senor loved that breakfast and I’ve made it several time since. Probably not as often as he would have liked though. Instead of pairing the squash and sweet potato with bacon and leeks though, I kept things even simpler. Just a chopped onion and a sprinkle of salt. Sweet and savory meet in your mouth.

The purple sweet potato is actually white on the inside and when cooked, looks almost green. It’s incredibly delicious. I love sweet potatoes and this one did not disappoint. Add in a green veg and you have a perfect meal. I brought leftover to have for lunch today and added some chopped zucchini. Perfect as a main course. Or, you can use it in place of your classic meat and ‘potato’ side dish. This works as a side with eggs, or with a big green salad. You can add a sauteed veggie in there too, just before serving. SO good. I can’t wait to eat my lunch.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potatoes

1 large butternut squash

1 large sweet potato

1 red onion

olive oil

salt, garlic and dried thyme

Peel the squash and sweet potato. Chop both into cubes, slightly bigger than one inch. The smaller the pieces are, the faster they will cook.

Chop the onion. Add the chopped veggies to a 9×13 baking dish. Toss with salt, garlic and thyme. You can always season additionally later, so a light sprinkling covering the tops of the veggies should be enough.

Drizzle olive oil over the top of the chopped pieces. Mix with a spatula until the oil is evenly distributed. Use just enough oil to cover all of the pieces.

Place in the oven at 400º. After 20 minutes, remove the pan and toss/flip the roasting squash and potatoes. Use a thin metal spatula to scrape up any caramelizing bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove after 40 minutes. Test the squash and potatoes with a fork. They should be soft and easily stabbed. If more seasoning is needed, adjust and taste before serving. Serve with roasted broccoli, sauteed zucchini, grilled chicken, fried eggs or eat it plain.

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