Last week, the weather here was positively fall-like. Then, this weekend, suddenly it is summer again. But, I just couldn’t wait until it cooled off again to make this side. Seriously, I think I could eat it everyday and be just as happy as a clam. Even my kids like it (yeah, they eat Brussels Sprouts, but only if I make them like this). As with most of my recipes, feel free to adjust to your liking. If the kids weren’t around, I would have definitely added some chile flake to this and I might add some red chile powder next time anyway – just for fun.
Start out by peeling and cubing one butternut squash. Then trim and halve about 30 brussels sprouts. Toss those with about a tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper (I wish I could tell you how much, but I don’t measure it, just sprinkle it over until it feels right. Besides, your taste and mine are probably different when it comes to how much salt is enough).
Spread these in an even layer on a sheet pan and put them in a 400* oven for about 20 minutes. While those are roasting away, very finely dice onion until you’ve got about 2 tablespoons and mince one clove of garlic. Sweat those down over very low heat in another tablespoon of olive oil. When they are nice and tender, stir them into a half cup chopped pecans, a half cup dried cranberries (unsweetened if possible) and a tablespoon or two of maple syrup (again, this varies depending on your taste. Go ahead and splurge on the real stuff though – your tastebuds will thank you.)
When your butternut squash and brussels sprouts have been in the oven 20 minutes, pull them out and stir in the pecan/dried cranberry mixture. Put it all back in the oven for another 10 minutes (and try not to drool). When you pull it out, it will look like this and smell like heaven.
Seriously! Who wouldn’t want a big ole serving of that deliciousness?!?! I served mine with pan seared pork chops tonight, but it is equally delicious with chicken – or all by itself (you know you thought about it). Bonus points if you can find the pork chop on this plate.
1 butternut squash – peeled and cubed
25-20 brussels sprouts – cleaned and halved
2 Tablespoons olive oil (separated)
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons finely diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1-2 Tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 400*.
Toss butternut squash and brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread in even layer on a cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
While squash and brussels sprouts are in the oven, sweat onion and garlic in remaining tablespoon olive oil over very low heat. When onions are soft and translucent, stir in pecans and dried cranberries.
Remove squash and brussels sprouts from oven. Stir in pecan mixture. Spread into an even layer and return to oven. Roast 10 minutes more.
Remove from oven and serve with your favorite protein!
If you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, it’s because you’ve never had them with bacon. Seriously, they’re crunchy and slightly sweet. Don’t toss this recipe just because you think you can’t stomach the Brussels sprouts. Even if you still don’t like them, they’re big enough to pick around and you can make it without them the next time. Since we don’t eat pasta very often anymore, I want the pasta we do eat to be packed with flavor. This is hearty and sweet and crunchy and creamy and, honestly, just delicious. I use fresh roasted pumpkin, but you could use any winter squash. You could even used frozen butternut squash. Canned pumpkin would give you the same flavor profile, but it will change the texture a bit.
Start by roasting the pumpkin. Halve it. Scoop out the seeds. Rub it with oil. Place it cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake at 350* for 45 minutes or an hour until it is just tender. Let it cool and then score the flesh with a knife without removing the peel (much like you’d do with an avocado). You’ll need 2 cups of these cubes for this recipe. Save the rest for pie or use it to make some pumpkin pops.
Cook fresh or frozen tortellini according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. While the tortellini is cooking, dice up the bacon and crisp it up in a pan. Add halved Brussels sprouts and grated garlic just as the bacon starts to get crispy. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add pasta water. Be careful that you don’t let the garlic burn.
Stir the Brussels sprouts and bacon and diced pumpkin into the tortellini. Your pumpkin will probably break down some and that is just fine. Serve with crusty bread (like my whole wheat French bread or my honey cracked black pepper French bread).
20 ounce package cheese tortellini
1/2 pound bacon, diced
2 cups halved Brussels sprouts
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
2 cups cubed roasted pumpkin
Cook tortellini according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water.
Dice bacon and cook in skillet until almost crispy. Add Brussels sprouts and garlic. Sautee 2-3 minutes or until garlic starts to brown. Add pasta water and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
Stir Brussels sprout mixture and cubed pumpkin into cooked tortellini. Serve with crusty bread.