Although it’s not officially winter yet, delicious butternut squash can easily be found in Virginia farmer’s markets and your local markets. Butternut squash and other varieties of winter squash, unlike its summer equivalent, can still provide your body with wonderful nutrition benefits, even at this temperature.
Winter squash emerged from our food ranking system as an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. In addition, winter squash emerged as a good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, copper,vitamin B6, niacin-vitamin B3 and pantothenic acid.
In terms of flavor, Butternut squash is sweet, rich, and deep in orange flesh that’s suprisingly easy peel, given a good blade and a firm grip. It can make a soothing bowl of soup, but in this case, roasting it with a Sherry-Vinegar Vinaigrette is going to be our preferred method. Click for the recipe.
Ingredients (serves 8)
4 small organic of local butternut squash
1 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste
3 sprigs local rosemary
1/2 clove organic garlic
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbs. sherry vinegar
2 tsp. whole-grain mustard
1/2 tsp. fennel pollen
1/4 cup chopped organic parsley
1/4 cup golden raisins, soaked for 10 minutes in hot water and chopped
Preheat oven to 425. (1) Cut about ¼ inch off each end of the squash. (2) Using a vegetable peeler, remove skin. (3) Stand squash upright and slice in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and pulp with a spoon. Cut squash horizontally into 1-inch strips. Arrange a layer of squash slices on two sheet pans. Drizzle √ cup of the olive oil over squash, then flip each piece so that it’s olive-oil side down. Season with salt, pepper, and rosemary, and roast until tender and undersides are browned, about 20 minutes. Remove sheet pans from oven and allow squash to cool before removing to a platter. For the vinaigrette: Rub inside of a bowl with garlic and discard. Add lemon juice, sherry vinegar, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, mustard, and fennel pollen, and whisk together. Drizzle in remaining olive oil and whisk constantly until emulsified. Pour vinaigrette over squash and sprinkle with parsley and raisins.