Butternut squash with spinach, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, and a hint of mint
The first time we saw a cook rub spices all over a squash for baking, we squinted sideways. But it, indeed, made an aromatic difference. Even though this is not a complicated prep, we enjoy roasting and stuffing the day before and baking it the next afternoon. It happily naps covered in the fridge overnight to wait for you. And has that added pleasure of 12-hour released scent.
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- 2 butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and strings removed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns, black or mixed
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, such as Urfa or Aleppo
- 1 teaspoon garam masala or other good curry powder
- 1 tablespoon good-tasting extra virgin olive oil, lighter weight
- generous fistful spinach leaves, trimmed and roughly chopped, about 1 cup
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 plump garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped
- grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Lay the squash, cut-side up, on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Roughly crush the seeds, peppercorns, and pepper flakes with a mortar and pestle.
- Add the garam masala and oil and mix thoroughly.
- Rub all over the squash halves, especially on the flesh side.
- Place on the baking sheet and bake until a knife slips in easily, but not too mushy, about 45 minutes.
- In the meantime, make the filling by mixing together the spinach, feta, garlic, mint, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon juice, saving aside the zest.
- When the squash is soft, put on your oven gloves, take the sheet out of the oven, and scoop out nearly all the flesh. Leave about a 1/2-inch border of flesh around the inside of each squash half.
- Mix the scooped-out squash into the filling and spoon back into the skins.
- Top with the lemon zest and slide back into the oven for an additional ten to fifteen minutes.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Cook’s tips and tricks: Yes, yes. Choose an alternative autumn squash, leafy green, and cheese. It’s all good.
- If you choose a sturdier, denser squash, it might be more difficult to halve. Put the squash on a cutting board and let it roll to its natural placement. Place the blade of your chef’s knife where you want to start first cut. Introduce the blade into the skin by lightly tapping with a mallet or hammer.
- It’s easier to zest the clean lemon before squeezing it for juice.
Stonebridge Farm CSA http://stonebridgefarmcsa.com/