Monday, December 13, 2010

Roasted Squash with Red Onion, Oregano and Mint

I love roasted squash, but most of the time once the squash has finished roasting I puree it either for use in a simple puree or for use in a creamy soup. Since I've gotten butternut squash in every one of my CSA deliveries, I've been constantly on the lookout for delicious butternut (and acorn and delicata) squash recipes. I first saw this particular recipe when it was part of slide show on the Food and Wine homepage of star chef's favorite holiday dishes. I'd considered making it a part of the Thanksgiving meal I hosted, partly because it look delicious and partly because it could be made ahead of time, but picked more traditional sides instead. I kept this recipe bookmarked and as my next (and sadly last) CSA delivery date approaches I decided it was time to come back to this recipe. And it is fantastic! I'm already a big fan of Mario Batali, despite the fact that man wears Crocs in public, but this made me love him even more. This is so simple, but absolutely packed with flavor from the sweet squash, savory herbs, and sharp red onion. Like any good recipe, the flavor is so much more than the sum of its ingredients and each bite makes you want more. Be sure to choose good quality olive oil and vinegar for this dish, because they are large components of the overall flavor. Make this for a quick weeknight side, luxurious weekend dinner, or big holiday celebration and you're sure to be pleased.

Roasted Squash with Red Onion, Oregano, and Mint
from Mario Batali, via Food and Wine
serves 8

Two 2 1/2-pound butternut squash, preferably organic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, very thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup mint leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Slice the squash crosswise 1 inch thick; scrape out any seeds. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets and arrange the squash slices on them. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until just tender.

2. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil with the vinegar, onion, oregano, garlic and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the warm squash and let stand for 20 minutes.
3. Arrange the squash on plates, sprinkle with the mint leaves and serve.

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