I recently threw this recipe together for one of my clients. It is a good transition recipe from winter to spring because it combines winter squash with one of the first things that comes up in my garden every spring, arugula. I also like the combo of the warm roasted flavors with the fresh, crisp, peppery arugula. The basil brightens it up and the balsamic gives the recipe some depth of flavor. The pumpkin seeds add a final layer of crunch that completes the dish.
Want to make this a vegetarian main dish? Add some nuts for protein. Walnuts would be great in here. You could also roast up some chickpeas to add instead. If you don't have arugula around, try radechio or another bitter chicory. And instead of balsamic you could brighten up the dish with some lemon juice instead. For the squash I used one acorn and one butternut squash, but you can choose any two that you like. Remember, a recipe is just a starting point. There are so many ways to make it your own.
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
2 winter squash of your choice (I used 1 acorn and 1 butternut squash)
2 red onions, sliced thick
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups of baby arugula
1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar (more if you like it tangier)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Depending on the type of winter squash you're using you may or may not have to peel it. You can eat the skin of the acorn squash, but not of the butternut squash. If you don't like the skin of the squash then peel it all.
Cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds. For the acorn squash cut it into quarters then slice it thick. For the butternut squash, cut the neck in half then cut it into thick slices. For the bottom cut in half then thick slices as well.
Mix together the squash, red onion, and garlic on a sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper then drizzle with olive oil. You want to roast the squash until it is tender and starting to caramelize. This will take about 30-40 minutes.
When your squash is done toss it with the arugula, basil, balsamic and pumpkin seeds. Taste the mixture and adjust the salt, pepper and vinegar to suit your tastebuds. This can be enjoyed hot or cold!