This recipe is not a traditional Jewish dish but I created it in a way that my ancestors in Lithuania and Poland would have done. Sometimes it was important to make a vegetable dish special. Shabbat, holidays, weddings all required elevating the basic food into something more elaborate. In Eastern Europe these three foods were stored all winter in cold, home cellars. Adding an onion to a dish was a normal occurrence. But, adding an apple with its sweetness changed the importance of the dish.
Butternut squash on its own is a great tasting vegetable. It is also a great winter vegetable because it ripens in early fall but its hard skin allows it to be stored and eaten all winter long. Roasting the vegetables is not a new cooking technique, but it has gained popularity in the last five years. Here I combine sweet and savory produce and seasonings to make a great side dish or even a great main course served with pasta or a grain.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Apples and Onions
1 large onion
2 apples, Fuji, Honey Crisp or Jonagold
20 ounces cubed butternut squash (about 4-5 cups 1 inch cubes)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt to taste
20 grindings of black pepper or to taste
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup toasted almond slivers or sunflower seeds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cut onion in half and then slice each piece crosswise into ½ inch strips. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper or foil (dull side up). Set aside.
- Using an apple corer/slicer, cut apple into eighths and then cut each wedge into 3 or 4 chunks. Add to the onions along with the squash cubes.
- Add the oil, thyme, vinegar and salt and pepper to the baking sheet and toss well.
- Spread out in a single layer and bake for 30 minutes or until onions are golden and squash is tender when pierced with a fork.
- Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, dried cranberries and nuts (if using). Toss lightly and place in a serving dish.
Serves 6 -8 as a side dish.