BUTTERNUT SQUASH with HAZELNUTS
Here is a delicious side dish for your Thanksgiving day meal or any fall celebration.
1 medium butternut squash (about 3½ pounds)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin coconut oil
¼ cup flax oil
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed Aleppo pepper (optional: see Foraging for Flavor)
1 cup hazelnuts, roasted, peeled, and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives, for garnish
The mere addition of roasted hazelnuts and a little spice takes butternut squash from humdrum to extraordinary. The nuts provide an unexpected crunch that is so alluring, you won’t want to stop eating. And the Aleppo pepper intertwines with the allspice to deliver a mysterious, barely perceptible Middle Eastern undertone.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Rub a sheet of parchment paper with the coconut oil and put the parchment on a baking sheet, oil-side up. Put the squash on the parchment, cut-side down.
Bake for 45 minutes. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and continue baking for 30 minutes.
Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Scoop the flesh into a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or silicone spatula. Add the flax oil, allspice, salt, pepper, and optional Aleppo pepper and stir until well combined.
Reserve ¼ cup of the hazelnuts and stir the remaining ¾ cup of hazelnuts into the squash until well distributed. Divide the squash among four bowls. Sprinkle with the reserved hazelnuts and garnish with the chives. Serve at once.
Per serving: 500 calories, 8 g protein, 36 g fat (4 g sat), 47 g carbohydrates, 155 mg sodium, 206 mg calcium, 10 g fiber
Foraging For Flavor: Aleppo pepper imparts a very complex note to this dish. If the more exotic Aleppo pepper isn’t available, cayenne would certainly suffice to add heat.