While we try to avoid temptation, new cookbooks do seem to find their way into our kitchen. And we are not talking about gifts, we succumb to the sirens of glossy photos and new recipes all on our own. In the age of the internet, it sometimes seems silly to have so many cookbooks, but we love them anyway. And unlike a PC or iPad, cookbooks can take some abuse in the kitchen- so that is at least one good excuse to keep adding to the collection.
And we recently added “Ripe, A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables” from Cheryl Sternman Rule to our stacks. The cookbook is an ode to seasonal produce and features good, mostly simple, recipes and some serious “Food Porn” photos (from Paulette Phlipot). One of the first recipes we found was this version of butternut squash with a curry paste, honey and coconut milk glaze. We love the sweet, rich flavor of butternut squash, and our kids like it, so we serve it often. Usually we go for sweeter glazes of sugar or maple syrup with salt, pepper and butter, but we are always looking for new flavors and this recipe goes with coconut rice (and we do like our coconut rice). So we gave it a go.
And we are glad we did. The curry mixture adds a touch of spice and depth to the sweet squash and develops a nice red-brown crust. This is a good-looking squash dish, but since it comes from a “Food Porn” cookbook, that isn’t a surprise. And the dish is very easy to make, you don’t even need to peel the squash. Quarter and seed the squash, season and coat with oil and then bake in the oven. Make the glaze. Flip the squash halfway through cooking and then add the glaze and broil a few minutes. Then serve with a garnish of toasted cashews (peanuts will also work) and some cilantro. Good as a side or light main dish.
But we do have one quibble with the original recipe and almost all butternut squash recipes we see, the cooking times are way too short. The original recipe suggests you roast a quartered butternut squash for 30 minutes. It will take 40-45 minutes, more if the squash is big. It always does (maybe it’s just our oven, but we doubt it). We suspect many people say the don’t like squash, but what they really don’t like is undercooked squash. Roast the squash until it is soft all the way through. The extra time is worth it, and you will get a very tasty and healthy dish.
Red Curry Glazed Butternut Squash:
(Adapted from Cheryl Sternman Rule)
Notes Before You Start:
- If you don’t have curry paste, but have curry power, you can make the paste yourself. Here is a quick link.
- The recipe uses a touch of coconut milk in the curry paste. If you are making coconut rice, you will have the coconut milk. If not, just substitute some heavy cream.
What You Get: Tasty butternut squash with some sweet, spicy notes.
What You Need: No special equipment required.
How Long? About an hour, but with only 5-10 minutes of active time. Anytime dish.
- 1, 2 pound butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon coconut milk (or heavy cream)
- 2 tablespoons plucked cilantro leaves (a few dozen)
- Toasted cashews or peanuts, for garnish
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Using a heavy knife, cut the stem from the squash and then quarter it. Remove the seeds with a spoon. Coat each piece of the squash with some of the olive oil and then season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the squash face up on the baking sheet (so one side of the flesh is against the sheet) and then into the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, then flip the squash and cook another 20-25 minutes or until brown and totally soft.
- Meanwhile, mix the curry paste, honey and coconut milk until smooth. Lightly toast the cashews or peanuts, if using, in a small skillet over medium heat- 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
- When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and turn on the broiler. Brush the curry mixture onto the squash and then return the squash to the oven. Broil until the paste browns and bubbles, 2-3 minutes. (Don’t let it burn). Remove from the oven and garnish with the cashews and cilantro. Serve on its own or with coconut rice.
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