Sunday, November 15, 2009

Recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary, Pecans, and Gorgonzola Cheese

Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary, Pecans, and Gorgonzola Cheese
It's time for me to stop thinking about whole wheat bread and get back to spotlighting Thanksgiving Recipes you might want to add to your menu. This amazing dish of butternut squash roasted with fresh rosemary and pecans and then gently tossed with Gorgonzola cheese just before serving sounds like it was inspired by the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Gorgonzola I was swooning over last Sunday. The truth is, last year at Thanksgiving time I bookmarked a recipe for Butternut Squash with Pecans and Blue Cheese from a blog called Eat Make Read. I save so many recipes that I forgot about it until this week when I saw it in my huge folder of recipes to try. Kelly from Eat Make Read found the recipe in Nigella Express, so apparently the combination of pecans, blue cheese, and roasted vegetables is one that a lot of good cooks are giving the stamp of approval.

My brother Rand has been staying at my house for a few days because this weekend there was a big family party for our dad's 84th birthday. He'd gone to visit dad right after I made this, and he told him "Kalyn just made some delicious roasted butternut squash with pecans and blue cheese." Without missing a beat my dad (a confirmed squash hater) said, "It might be delicious to some people, but not to me." If you have confirmed squash haters at your house this probably isn't going to work, but if you like roasted squash and blue cheese, this may become your favorite new way to cook butternut squash.

I started with a butternut squash that was about 2 1/2 lbs., so that after I peeled it and cut it into cubes I had 2 pounds of squash cubes. You might want to read How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash if you haven't done it, because it can be challenging.

The squash cubes don't have to be all the same shape, but it's important to get them close to the same size so they cook in the same amount of time.

I was lucky to still have fresh rosemary that wasn't covered with snow. If you use dried rosemary, be sure it's very finely chopped or smashed so people don't bite into a hard piece of dried rosemary.

Toss the squash cubes with olive oil, finely chopped rosemary, salt and pepper, and brush a little olive oil on the baking sheet.

If you end up with a lot more chopped rosemary than you need, put it in a small container and freeze it. (I've been freezing fresh herbs for many years, and they're great to have during the winter.

Spread out the seasoned squash cubes on the baking sheet, making them in a single layer as much as possible. (Yes, if my oven was working, I would have used a bigger pan, but I was using my toaster oven.)

Roast the squash without peeking for 20 minutes, then take out of the oven and use a flat turner to turn the cubes over. You should be starting to see some color on the side that was touching the baking sheet.

Roast the squash 15 minutes more, and while it's roasting, measure out 1/2 cup pecans and coarsely chop. I buy the big bags of pecans from Costco and store them in the freezer so I always have some on hand.

After the 15 minutes, turn the squash again, then sprinkle with pecans and put back in the oven for about 15 minutes more.

This is how my squash looked after it had roasted with the pecans for the final 15 minutes. Total roasting time will be 45-50 minutes, depending on how big your squash cubes are and what dish you use.

Toss the roasted squash and pecans with the Gorgonzola, check to see if you need salt and pepper, and serve hot. (I let the squash cool for 3-4 minutes so all the cheese wouldn't melt before I took the photos!)


Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary, Pecans, and Gorgonzola
(Makes 4-6 servings, Recipe adapted from Butternut Squash with Pecans and Blue Cheese at Eat Make Read, who found it in Nigella Express.)

Ingredients:
1 medium-sized butternut squash (mine was 2.5 lbs. and made 2 lbs. of squash cubes)
1 T olive oil + 1-2 tsp. olive oil to brush pan
1-2 tsp. fresh rosemary (I used 2 tsp. but you might want less if you don't love rosemary. You can use a smaller amount of dried rosemary, but be sure it's finely chopped or ground.)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Gorgonzola cheese (can probably use any type of blue cheese, but I picked Gorgonzola because the one I found was lower in fat)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Cut stem and blossom ends off squash, then cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds with a sharp spoon, peel squash with a vegetable peeler, then cut into 1 inch cubes. Try to make the cubes close to the same size so they'll all cook in the same amount of time.

Wash and dry fresh rosemary leaves, then finely chop with chef's knife. (If you're using dried rosemary, I would grind it with a mortar and pestle or chop as finely as you can with a knife.) Toss the squash cubes with 1 T olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper.

Brush the baking sheet with olive oil, then arrange the squash in a single layer as much as possible and roast for 20 minutes without opening oven. Remove the pan and use a flat turner to turn squash cubes over. (They should be lightly browned on the bottom.)

Roast the squash 15 minutes more while you measure 1/2 cup pecans and coarsely chop. After 15 minutes, turn the squash one more time and sprinkle pecans over the top. Roast 10-15 minutes more, until the nuts are fragrant and the squash cubes are soft and caramelized.

Wipe out the bowl you used earlier to toss the squash with olive oil, then put the hot squash into it. Toss with the Gorgonzola cheese, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper if it needs more and serve hot. (You might want to let it cool for a minute or two before you toss with the cheese.)

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South Beach Suggestions:
Butternut squash is approved for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet, and everything here is a low-glycemic ingredient. If you're following the diet, I would check the label when I buy my Gorgonzola cheese, as the fat content can vary a lot in different types of blue cheese. The Gorgonzola I used had only 8 grams of fat in 1/4 cup, but blue cheese is a "limited" food for South Beach due to the saturated fat, so I try to use it sparingly.

More Wonderful Ideas for Roasted Squash:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Agave and Balsamic Glazed and Roasted Buttercup Squash from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Butternut Squash with Lemon, Thyme, and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar from Kalyn's Kitchen
Butternut Squash with Black Walnut Crisp from Mantia's Musings
Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola, and Crispy Sage from Closet Cooking
Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlic, Sage, and Pine Nuts from Recipe Girl
Roasted Butternut Squash, Pears, and Cranberries from Food Mayhem
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.counter customizable free hit

44 comments:

  1. Those photos look absolutely delicious!

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  2. This is an excellent post, I love all the details, and the photos. Great combination, well done blogger!

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  3. Another tasty recipe for my current fave, butternut squash! Many thanks for a distinctly different take than my usual roasted butternut, and since I love gorgonzola, I can't wait to try it! (though probably with just a dusting of pecans. I know they're delicious, but I'm just not partial to nuts...)

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  4. This looks like a cool take on roasted butternut squash!

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  5. I love the idea of melted blue cheese with this squash. Not being a rosemary lover, I'll try this with sage or thyme, both of which are still hanging on in my herb garden.

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  6. I wish I would have seen this yesterday...I have tons of butternut squash right now and decided to make a Butternut Squash Leek Soup I saw on a trusted food blog. Wasn't so fond of it. Neither was my husband. I pained me because there was two leeks and a whole butternut squash in the soup. It just wasn't savable. This would have made much better use of my squash!

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  7. Krys, thanks so much. I'm having fun with the new camera.

    Year on the grill, thanks!

    Katrina, If you like gorgonzola, you'll like it. Skip the pecans if you want.

    Pam, loved it!

    Lydia, I think thyme or sage would both be good, but I'd probably pick thyme.

    Amy, sorry to hear about the soup. I hate it when that happens!

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  8. Good to know I am not the only one who saves way too many recipes and.... forgets about them :-)

    I love butternut squash, have one ready to be used, now all I need is the gorgonzola cheese!

    thanks for the inspiration!

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  9. Oh my goodness. Can you just come to my house and cook for me???

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  10. I am definitely making something like this for Thanksgiving! Nothing makes me more thankful than roasted butternut squash.

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  11. That looks amazing. And really, anything with gorgonzola has to be good. I cannot wait to try this!

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  12. I'm working on liking squash and I think I'll give this a try, sans cheese. Does the cheese make a big difference in this recipe? I really like the rosemary and pecans. Do you think it would stand up with just that or should I replace the cheese with something else?

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  13. Bewitching Kitchen, I always have a huge collection of bookmarks, plus piles of cooking magazines and stacks of books with post-its.

    Lyn, you are funny! Sorry, but I can barely keep up with the cooking at my own house.

    Joanne, me too! Love it in any form.

    Sarah, loved it!! I agree about the gorgonzola.

    Diane I think the cheese is 100% optional. if you don't want cheese or nuts, you might like this Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar. The balsamic vinegar adds a nice flavor.

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  14. The pungent flavor (and I mean that as a good thing) of the Gorgonzola, along with the sweetness of the butternut squash would be a match made in heaven. Perfect Thanksgiving dish!

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  15. Looks delicious, and I'm most grateful for the peeling tip for butternut squash. They can be so ornery. Great post - and instructions.

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  16. Oh yes -- it's butternut squash season, and do I ever love it! Love the combination here - Thanks!

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  17. This looks like an excellent recipe. I always interested in recipes that combine different textures and bright flavors. Your butternut dish looks lovely!

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  18. That looks just lovely! Fabulous ingredients :) I could eat that dish right now.

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  19. Dara, so, so good! I could eat this as a one-dish meal!

    Lea Ann, thanks. I agree, they are a challenge, but once you practice a few times, not so bad.

    Fresh Local and Best, thanks. I was glad I found it again.

    Frockandfork, me too. Too bad it's gone!

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  20. As a celiac, I unfortunately must stay away from gorgonzola: bread crumbs are sometimes used in the mold-growing medium. What gluten free cheese would you recommend? Parmesan would taste good but wouldn't add the same creaminess. Mozzarella is too bland. Any ideas?

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  21. Isa, I didn't realize that about Gorgonzola, so thanks for the info. I do have a couple of recipes with roasted butternut and Parmesan, so I know it would be good. I might try feta, but them I'm a nut for feta. Other than that, I'm afraid I don't know anything about what cheeses are gluten-free.

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  22. Can this be made ahead and brought to the feast site? And if so, how?

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  23. Anonymous, I'd have to say it was not nearly as good reheated as it was freshly made, because the reheating melted the cheese so that it kind of disappeared into the dish. If you wanted to make it ahead, I'd cook the squash and pecans, then reheat just before you serve it and add the Gorgonzola.

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  24. Now I'm the one who is swooning. I guess at 84 you can't change him, but I think he missed out on this one! Happy belated b-day to your dad, Kalyn!

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  25. I love butternut squash and this looks like a creative way to cook it, very fall festive! Girlfriend you have got to do a vegetable cookbook!!!!!!! You are just too creative!!!

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  26. Susan, I'm pretty sure we'll never convince him on this one. I finally got him to eat the barest amount of "salad" by putting blue cheese dressing and feta cheese on it, but squash is not negotiable!

    Mrs. Ed, thanks! No plans to write a cookbook (I can barely keep up with the blog.) If I had a good offer I might consider it, but I think most first-time cookbooks are a lot of work for not much money, based on what I hear.

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  27. I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for the recipe. I will definately make this again and again.

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  28. Anonymous, definitely a keeper for me too! So glad you liked it.

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  29. Tangy gorgonzola goes so well with sweet roasted squash! I like to add caramelized onions to the mix as well.

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  30. my sis and i made this for thanksgiving today, and it was a HUGE hit! we all loved it. thanks for the recipe!

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  31. Kevin, sounds good!

    Tyler, so glad! When I mentioned it at my family dinner they didn't sound impressed, but I loved it.

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  32. I'm trying to put together a unique butternut squash dish & your site expanded my ideas. Thank you for sharing.

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  33. omg i have to try that, im in love with Gorgonzola at the mo!

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  34. Davis, glad to hear it!

    Dan, I highly recommend this recipe, absolutely loved it!

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  35. THis looks delish. Can't wait to make it.

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  36. They look so tasty! I love it!
    Need to get my wife to learn the recipe and make me those!

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  37. I just made this for dinner tonight and it, along with most things I make from your fabulous site, was a huge hit. I can definitely see making this instead of my cream, butter, and brown sugar-laden sweet potato casserole this Thanksgiving. Thank you for such a wonderful website, Kalyn!

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  38. Jada, so glad you liked it, and thanks for the nice feedback about the blog!

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  39. I made this recipe today and it is by far the best side dish I've ever had. Thank you for posting it! It will replace potato salad from now til forever!

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  40. Elizabeth, so glad you liked it. This is one of my favorites as well!

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  41. This became our favorite fall recipe this year! Its very easy to make and delicious! We added a little bit of pomegranate after it was done, and it tasted very good! =) Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Denise, so glad you've been enjoying it. And I absolutely LOVE the idea of adding pomegranate!

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    2. Kalyn, I want to make this dish for Thanksgiving, I was wondering if I could do it as you suggested on the Butternut with the Balsamic glaze. To roast it early in the day and keep it warm on a crock pot till its time to serve it, and then mix the cheese..? Do you think it would work? Thank you! =)

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    3. Denise, you could certainly make this earlier in the day and keep it warm in the crockpot, but cooking in the slow cooker will make the butternut squash softer and a little more watery compared to roasting. So I am not saying that it won't still be good, just that you lose some of the advantages of roasting (the way it concentrates the flavors and dries out the squash a little.) The shorter time the better for the slow cooker if you'd like to keep the texture of roasted squash. And I would love to hear how you think it worked if you try it. I'm going to try butternut squash "mash" in the slow cooker, but of course that's a dish where the texture is really different.

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