Friday, November 18, 2016

Butternut Squash Mash with Caramelized Onions, Candied Sage and Pistachios

Shhh, don't tell pumpkin but I prefer butternut squash.

Vats of butternut squash soup emerge from my kitchen every fall but I'm always looking for new ways to get more butternut squash in my life. 

I was really pleased with the recipe result of my ground beef butternut squash casserole but I wanted to create a meatless Thanksgiving side dish using my favorite orange friend. 

A quick scan of my pantry revealed some pistachios and red onions. Thankfully, the sage in my garden, as well as the rosemary, does not give up until the end of November, so there is always plenty to use up.

I roasted the butternut squash, mashed the flesh, then mixed in caramelized onions and butter. The dish is garnished with crisp candied fresh sage and raw pistachios. It sounds fancy but it's so simple to make and such a pretty addition to any Thanksgiving or autumn table.  

This flavorful side dish is possibly my best butternut squash inspired recipe ever. There is so much flavor going on here it would make a turkey's head explode. 

This is also a great make-ahead dish. Who doesn't love knocking things off the Thanksgiving list before the big day? Make this the day before, leave the candied sage and pistachios off to the side. Reheat in a casserole dish and garnish with the sage and pistachios before serving. 

Butternut Squash Mash with Caramelized Onions, Candied Sage and Pistachios
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 4
  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 3 tablespoon butter divided
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large red onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup fresh sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoons white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw pistachios
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash whole on the baking sheet.
  • Roast the squash whole for 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, peel and cut the onion into small pieces.
  •  Melt one tablespoon of butter with the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the chopped onions and cook over a low flame, stirring frequently until caramelized.
  • Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.
  • Replace the pan on the stove over a low flame. Add the remaining tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Add the sage leaves to the pan and toss to coat. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the leaves and stir frequently until the sage leaves become crispy.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Remove the squash from the oven and carefully slice each squash in half. Replace the halves on the baking sheet and return to oven for another 20-30 minutes or until you can easily run a knife through the thickest part of the squash pieces.
  • When the squash halves are cool enough to handle, scrape out the seeds. Discard or save the seeds to roast later.
  • Scoop the butternut squash flesh out into a casserole dish. Mix in the caramelized onions. Cut the remaining two tablespoons of butter into pieces and mix into the warm squash.
  • Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven to keep warm.
  • Remove from the oven, top with the candied sage and pistachios and serve.

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