Prep 15 mins Cook 40 mins Eat 40 mins
With Thanksgiving already next week, you will want some great autumn recipes to serve family and friends. With very little effort, you can make this Roasted Butternut Squash with Dukkah. The butternut squash can be roasted the day before or the morning of for a nice Thanksgiving side, or make this dish for a light post-Thanksgiving meal. Roasted Butternut Squash with Dukkah is a crowd pleaser and it’s different than the usual dishes you will see around this time of the year. Why? Because you top the butternut squash with Dukkah. What’s Dukkah, you ask? It’s an Egyptian spice blend that is made fancy with some large cashews you will find in a big container at Costco or cashew pieces in a can at the supermarket.
I tasted this dish at Bar Moruno Restaurant at the Grand Central Market in Los Angeles just before they shuttered their doors. Glad I didn’t miss it! This recipe is my version of what I tasted. Traditional Dukkah is a dry spice mixture to sprinkle over salads comprised of toasted spices, nuts and seeds. In this recipe, the nuts are kept whole and mixed into the browned butter and honey.
Aside from roasting the squash, this recipe will take you about 15 minutes to prepare. Let me show you how easy.
Split open the butternut squash lengthwise very carefully with a sharp knife, remove the seeds and place it face down on an ungreased baking sheet. I admit that it is not easy to slice open the squash. Be patient, keep the knife point and blade away from your hands and fingers. You could cut off the stem end by putting the knife against the stem knob, and steady the other end of the squash with your hand, then roll the squash back and forth until it pops off. Insert the point of the knife in the center lengthwise and move it around the squash to cut through. This may take a small pounding of the squash on your cutting board with the knife still in it. Place the squash in a 375° oven for about 40 minutes or until it is soft when pierced with a fork.
While the squash is roasting, toast the Dukkah and cashews in a fry pan. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In the same fry pan, melt the butter and brown on medium-high heat until it browns and you smell the nutty aroma. Do not leave the kitchen during this process, because once it begins to brown, you must watch it carefully and remove it from the heat at the point it is a dark golden brown. Add the honey and the Dukkah and heat the mixture through.
Slice the roasted butternut squash into wedges and place on a bed of fresh arugula OR if serving later, keep arugula in the fridge to garnish the platter after warming through. The thin skin on the squash is edible and does not need to be removed.
Pour the Dukkah mixture over the butternut squash and serve immediately. If serving later, put the platter in a warm 275° oven for about 15 minutes before serving, then garnish with the arugula. Perfect for a Thanksgiving side or for a meal on it’s own.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Dukkah
2 pound butternut squash cut in half lengthwise
2 cups cashews, left whole
1/3 cup + sesame seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces baby arugula leaves
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and place butternut squash halves, skin side up on a baking sheet. Roast for about 40 minutes or more, depending on how large the squash is. Insert a meat fork in wide part of the flesh. It is done when it is soft.
2. While squash is roasting, make Dukkah. In a skillet on medium-high heat, toast the cashews, sesame seeds for a minute. Add cumin and coriander and toast for another minute. Remove Dukkah to a plate. In the same skillet, melt butter and wait for it to achieve a dark golden brown color. You will smell the nutty aroma when it is ready. Turn off the heat. Add the honey and Dukkah mixture, salt and pepper and warm through. Set aside. You will need to rewarm just before serving.
3. When squash is cooked, slice it into wedges. Scatter the arugula on a platter, place the squash wedges on the arugula and pour over the Dukkah and butter-honey sauce. Amazingly delicious!
Servings: 6 – 494 calories per serving