I love all types of squash- acorn, spaghetti, kabocha, zucchini, delicata, pumpkin… I could go on and on. But I think my favorite type to cook and eat is butternut squash.
Butternut squash can look intimidating, but once you figure out how to prepare and cook it it’s not bad at all. I’ve had it in pasta, on pizza, in soup, in “french fry” form, mashed, and plain, and all were great. Butternut squash is especially delicious when roasted. I picked up one of these beauties at the store last week and couldn’t decide what to make with it. Then I found a recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod called Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo Salad and knew I had to replicate it at home [click the link to see the recipe].
I stuck with the original recipe for the most part but instead of just orzo I used a Harvest Grains blend from Trader Joe’s. It included Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa. I like the variety of grains and all the different textures!
First things first, peel or cut off the thick skin on the squash. Be careful with this part! Then cut off the top and the bottom so you have a flat surface to stand the squash upright.
Stand the squash upright and slice it down the middle, making two halves.
Scrape out the seeds and guts from the inside of each half.
When you’re finished it should look like this.
Cut the squash into strips and then into 1 inch cubes.
Arrange the squash on a baking sheet lined with foil
Then roughly chop up some red onion.
And add it to the baking sheet along with some garlic.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil.
Mix to combine! Hands work best to get the olive oil to cover all the pieces.
Ready to go into the oven to roast away!
While the squash was roasting, I boiled a pot of water and added the Harvest Grains blend and let it simmer away.
In the meantime, I chopped up some fresh baby spinach.
I like to take a bunch of spinach leaves, roll them up tightly, then slice it up that way. It makes it super easy and quick!
Lots of spinach!
Measure out one cup of dried cranberries.
When the Harvest Grains are done cooking and the water is absorbed, add the spinach and stir it in well until it starts to wilt.
Then add the cranberries…
Remove the delicious smelling butternut squash from the oven and add that to the pot as well!
Mix it all up until ingredients are evenly distributed.
Then add a little bit of salt and pepper, and some high quality olive oil to finish it off, and stir well.
The finished product!
Our portions, ready to consume 🙂
My ultimate taste-tester getting ready to give his review.
The verdict? Kevin and I both loved it! It had so many great sweet and savory flavors all combined into one, and the roasted squash took it up to a whole other level. It was delicious and very filling! Kevin actually called dibs on the leftovers and took them for lunch the next couple of days.
I have a feeling we’ll be making this (and other butternut squash recipes) again in the future!