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!
I love this side dish. Honestly, it is hearty enough to be used as a main dish on a meatless night. It is packed full of flavor and nutrition. Healthy proteins, vitamins, fiber. And, it tastes absolutely fabulous. My 3 year old (the picky one) had 2 full servings and has asked for it every night since I made it. There is nothing that brings a smile to a mama’s face like seeing her boy pick out the kale so he can eat it alone and then asking for more. If you think healthy food has to taste bad, try this recipe. Seriously, it will change your life.
If you don’t have lentils already prepared, start them first. Just simmer them in water until they are tender. Cube up your butternut squash. You need about 2 cups of cubes. I used one small butternut squash. If all you can get are big ones, they freeze well. Heat up some olive oil in a large pan and add the squash cubes. Cook until mostly tender and browned.
While the squash is cooking down, get the kale ready. Be sure to remove the stems as they are woody and tough. Then just roughly chop the leaves. Remember that greens cook down a lot, so don’t worry about getting the pieces too small.
Stir the lentils and garlic into the squash cubes. Deglaze the pan with a little water, stock or wine. Top with chopped kale and put a lid on it. It is going to look like you have way too much kale, I promise, you don’t.
Let this cook covered over low heat for 5 minutes. Then, remove the lid and stir. Cook until the kale is as tender as you like it.
Serve alone or with a protein. We had salmon and it was delicious.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 cups prepared lentils (1 cup dry simmered in 2 cups water)
1 bunch kale
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup water, stock or wine
Heat oil in large skillet. Add cubed squash. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and mostly tender.
While squash is cooking, remove stems from kale. Rough chop the leaves.
Add prepared lentils and smashed garlic to the browned squash. Deglaze pan with water. Add kale and cover immediately.
Cook covered over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir. Continue cooking until kale is as tender as you like (2-3 minutes for me).