March 22, 2010
I guess I’ll miss a few things about winter. How quiet and still the earth seems after a very heavy snowfall. Ginormous fluffy snowflakes that seem to fall to the ground so slowly you can almost make out their intricacies. Sweaters and scarves. Skiing. The excitement of a possible snow day, even if they never happen. Flannel pajamas. Watching smoke escape from chimneys and the sight and scent of a crackling fire. And, of course, all of the good things that happen in the kitchen during the winter months. Aromas of a Sunday roast or braise wafting throughout the house. Never tiring of steaming bowls of soup. The comfort of hearty lasagnas, casseroles and pot pies. And roasted winter squash. From September to March there is no shortage of winter squash in this house. The bright yellow-orange flesh of acorn, kabocha and butternut lend just enough cheer to keep the promise of warmer days in our sights.
I probably don’t need to list the things I won’t miss about the winter months. To paraphrase: snow, cold, ice, cold, dark, cold and freezing. Yes, I think that sums it up nicely.
So more about this recipe. I’m in love with the spice blend. Can’t seem to get enough of it. And never would I have thought to marry these spices myself. Originally written to be tossed with sweet potatoes, this blend of coriander seeds, fennel seeds and oregano is crazy good. Addicting. If it’s any indication, we ate five pounds of butternut squash over the course of a weekend. Yes, a squash per person in two days. I wonder about us sometimes, too.
This was my recipe of choice nearly every time I prepared squash this winter. There may be a few decent butternut squash lingering yet this season. I encourage you to give it a try, or at least toss the spice blend with some sweet potatoes or jersey sweets in the coming Spring(!) months.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Coriander(Adapted from Gourmet via smitten kitchen)
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 2.5 pounds), peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch chunks; Or substitute squash of choice or sweet potatoes
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 T olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the coriander, fennel, oregano and red pepper flakes. Mix in salt and set aside.
On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash in the olive oil followed by the spice mix. Bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is fork tender and lightly caramelized.