Thursday, September 29, 2011
Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Onion and Thyme
I don't usually cook myself lunch. Lunch is for sandwiches, reheating leftovers and picking at strange odds and ends. I have totally made lunch out of cookies and cheese on occasion. If I put any effort into lunch, it usually involves quickly sauteing something on the stovetop. No advance planning means that lunch can't be time-consuming.
Today, however, I was forced to deviate from my usual path when I walked into my garden and noticed that my butternut squash - the only butternut squash that had matured on my vine, and for which I had harbored such high hopes - had developed some blemishes. They looked like rotten spots, but when I touched them, the outer rind didn't seem at all soft. Still, better safe than sorry. I plucked it from the vine, to be eaten ASAP.
I was a little worried about what I'd get when I cut it open, but as you can see, the blemishes were only skin deep. Tragedy having been averted, I began plotting. My favorite way to prepare winter squash is by roasting (actually, that's my favorite way to prepare most vegetables). I thought it might be nice with some red onion as well, and a bit of the massive thyme bush that is attempting to hijack my herb garden. The result was a flavorful, comforting little dish that made my whole house smell like fall (despite the summer-ish violent thunderstorm that had just rolled through). And squash is super-healthy, too. I look forward to many more tasty squash dishes as the weather begins to get chilly. Too bad my vine didn't produce any others!
Pour squash mixture into a baking dish coated with cooking spray (I neglected the cooking spray and have a mess waiting for me in the kitchen sink). Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring once (the time will depend on the temperature of your oven - mine needs a tune-up, so it took longer). Enjoy with a sprig or two of fresh thyme.