Monday, November 24, 2008

Easy Recipe for Agave and Balsamic Glazed and Roasted Buttercup Squash

Roasted Buttercup SquashI still had a couple more recipes to add to the collection of Thanksgiving Recipes I've been working on for the last few weeks, but somehow this recipe for Agave and Balsamic Glazed and Roasted Buttercup Squash just went right to the front of the line. This idea was in my head for about a week, and today I finally got around to cooking it. This squash was beyond delicious, one of those dishes where I find myself eating it as soon as the photos are shot. It's also perfect for Easy South Beach Recipes, where I file recipes with five ingredients or less and which still is the most popular part of the recipe archives. If you can add just one more Thanksgiving side dish to your table, this is the one!


You could make this with any type of winter squash, but I've been wanting to try some new types and I loved the buttercup squash. I forgot to take a photo before I cut it up, but you can see it in this squash glossary if you're curious. I actually cut this squash and left it in the fridge in a Ziploc bag for five days before I finally cooked it, so you can definitely cut it ahead of time.

The combination of Balsamic Vinegar and Agave Nectar brushed on the squash was so perfect! I had a lot of this glaze left over, so in the recipe I reduced the amount from what is shown here. If you're trying to follow a low-glycemic index eating plan of any type, Agave Nectar is a product you should know about.

First I brushed the squash with the glaze and roasted at 400F for 15 minutes. Don't worry if the glaze runs down to the bottom of the pan, because it will coat the bottom side of the squash in a most delightful way.

Then I turned the squash over, brushed lightly a second time and roasted for 15 minutes more on the second side. Thirty minutes was perfect for these pieces of squash, but you might need a bit longer if your squash pieces are thicker. Grind over some sea salt and black pepper and eat!


Agave and Balsamic Glazed and Roasted Buttercup Squash
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

Ingredients:
1 buttercup squash, or other winter squash (about 1.5 lbs.)
2 T Agave Nectar (preferably amber variety)
2 T good quality balsamic vinegar (I used Fini Balsamic Vinegar)
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

Instructions:
Cut top and bottom end from squash, then sit flat on cutting board and cut in half top to bottom. Use a sharp spoon to scrape out seeds, washing out the inside of the squash if needed. Cut squash into half-moon slices about 1 inch wide. (Any shape of slice will work, but they need to be close to the same thickness.

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400F. Spray roasting pan with non-stick spray or olive oil. I was using a toaster oven, so I used a 13" X 9" roasting pan.) Lay squash in single layer on roasting pan. Mix together agave nectar and balsamic vinegar and brush on top layer of squash. (Some will run down, which will coat the bottom as the squash roasts.)

Roast squash 15 minutes, then turn each piece. Brush second side lightly with the agave-balsamic mixture. (It will look glazed already and you may be tempted not to brush it, but do it so the glaze can run down and coat the other side.) Roast 15 minutes more, or until squash pierces easily with a fork and is lightly browned.

Grind black pepper and sea salt over squash and serve hot. (You could make this easier to eat by cutting off the peeling before eating, but I thought it was simple enough to cut the rind off as you ate it, and I kind of liked the look of the squash with the rind left on.)

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South Beach Suggestions:
The South Beach Diet cookbooks list butternut squash as phase two, so this is probably phase two for a small serving or phase three if you have a lot. One nice thing is that vinegar lowers the glycemic index of other foods, so it balances out the sweetness of the squash and agave.

More Roasted Squash to Savor:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar
Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime and Rosemary
Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices
Roasted Butternut Squash with Lemon, Thyme, and Parmesan
Roasted Acorn Squash with Honey Lime Glazed Pepitas from Food Blogga
Roasted Butternut Squash and Onion Gratin from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
Roasted Butternut Squash from Well Fed
Find more Roasted Squash Recipes using Food Blog Search.

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20 comments:

  1. Kalyn, may I come to your house and stay for awhile? Lipsmacking!

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  2. Karina, ANY TIME! You just drive on up here. We will have so much fun!

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  3. I've had agave nectar in my pantry for months now. Hope it's still good to use!! I just picked up some acorn squash today. Looks like I have all I need to make this. It looks terrific.

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  4. I really like the balsamic vinegar-squash combination! I'm coming along with Karina!

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  5. The glaze looks amazing - when I am roasting fall veg. I usually reach for the maple syrup - totally out of habit (esp. when living in Vermont) - but I can see how the agave would add some really nice citrus notes.

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  6. This looks as great as it sounded!
    Squash is one of my favorite things, so this is certainly something for me to try.

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  7. Agave nectar is a gift from god, I swear. I love that stuff! Never thought of pairing it with balsamic vinegar before though... you're brilliant!

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  8. RG, I think agave will stay good pretty much indefinitely. I know I had some for over a year and it was still fine.

    Ilva, come on over too. Wouldn't that be wonderful!

    Sue Bette, yes this was definitely inspired by those maple syrup glazed squashes that are so yummy!

    Dayna, hope you try it. Do try the buttercup squash too if you can find it. I loved it!

    Jesse, thanks. I don't know what made me think of the combination (certainly I am not brilliant!) but it was really a winner. I'm thinking this will taste great brushed on roasted salmon or other veggies too.

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  9. You are always cooking up amazing dishes! Love this one!!

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  10. Brilliant! And so easy, I am jazzed. We are just covering SQUASH in culinary class, so it was nice timing to run across this recipe.

    Happy Thanksgiving Kalyn!

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  11. Yum, I keep looking for good recipes to use my Agave. Squash sounds so yummy right now (it's finally gotten cold here and, gasp, may even rain!)

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  12. Stunning! Party at Kalyn's house; I'll be there too.
    That looks beautiful and so easy.

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  13. So glad everyone is liking this. One of the best things I've cooked for a long time!

    CC, please do come for the party. Wouldn't that be fun!

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  14. Wow, two of my favorites together at last: Squash and Balsamic Vinegar. Awesome idea, Thanks a million for it. :)

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  15. That looks delicious. I love squash. The latest version we had was roasted with a liberal sprinkling of smoked paprika! Addictive!

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  16. Kalyn this sounds great! Now that I know what buttecup squash is :o)

    The other night I had a margarita sweetened with agave nectar. It made me want to buy some to use in cooking!

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  17. I only use agave to sweeten my tea, I've really got to try it in my cooking!

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  18. I just had to tell you that this recipe is heavenly ! This is the first time I have ever had buttercup squash, but it will not be my last-it really is like a dense sweet potato. In fact, I like it better than sweet potatoes.
    I had some maple-flavored agave nectar on hand and used that in this recipe-incredible ! Thanks for the marvelous recipe.

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