In our home for Thanksgiving I’m in charge of the sides. It is usually a combination of Mediterranean dishes and traditional American. I have some standard dishes I make every year, but I’ll also try something new. This year I wanted an easy simple dish that is also healthy so it balances out all the other heavier dishes. Roasted butternut squash with olive oil is simple enough and delicious, but topped with pine nuts and cranberries makes it even more interesting.
I find butternut squash quite flavorful and rich and so easy to handle. I love how the house fills with a wonderful nutty and sweet aroma while it is roasting. For this recipe all you need to do is roast the squash. Honestly it is really good just roasting it with herbs and salt and pepper, but with a few additions it becomes a bit more festive. I topped it with plenty of toasted pine nuts and dried cranberries and drizzled with a touch of balsamic and plenty of olive oil. And that’s it! It is really easy, it is seasonal and it looks so pretty on the table.
The beauty of this dish is not only that it is super easy to make, but also that it can be served either as a salad or a warmer dish. I had it a few hours after making it at room temperature and it was good, but then I re-heated it later for dinner and liked it even more. The flavors had melded and the warm butternut squash paired perfectly with the pine nuts and the cranberries. Below, I provide directions on how to put it together either as a salad or a warm dish.
Nutritionally, with this dish you get many benefits of typical Mediterranean foods without sacrificing that Thanksgiving flavor. Butternut squash is a great source of beta-carotene, fiber and potassium and the olive oil provides good fats which also helps absorb more of the beta-carotene.