It’s funny, where you can find inspiration for a dish.
I don’t know about anyone else, but the little “ticker” over on the right-hand side of the screen on Facebook fascinates me. I’ll often click on it just to see the photo or status someone on my friends list “likes” or see the post or status they’re commenting on. I’ve found some hilarious and infuriating things over there – and, occasionally, something instructive.
Such was the case last weekend when I clicked on something that looked like a recipe by my friend Barbara, a professional chef who owns the blog Tigers and Strawberries. (She hasn’t blogged for quite some time, but has left the blog up – which is a great thing; it is a marvelous resource of recipes and cooking knowledge.) In fact, that’s exactly what it was – a simple recipe on one of her friend’s post about discovering delicata squash.
And, like all of Barbara’s recipes, it looked marvelous. Right away I sent her a private message saying I planned to make the dish soon (I made it the next night, as a matter of fact) and asking if I could post the recipe here when I did. Gracious as always, her reply was, “Go for it.”
So here it is.
And it is every bit as marvelous as I had anticipated.
Barbara gave no real measurements – it was just a list of ingredients and general instructions for the dish – so I had to sort of wing it when it came to proportions. We had a fairly large butternut squash that we’d just pulled out of our garden, so I used that, along with two Fuji apples because they are delicious and hold up fairly well to cooking. The only other ingredients were 2 parts almond butter to one part maple syrup, dried cranberries and slivered almonds.
Since the almond butter I used was an all-natural butter with no added salt or sugar, I ended up reversing the proportions of that and the maple syrup (which turned out to be a good thing once I saw the calorie content of a serving). On a whim, I also added raisins along with the dried cranberries and I had no slivered almonds, so I used chopped pecans instead.
I also didn’t realize when I began that it was going to make a HUGE amount, but that’s okay – it is so very, very good that we’ve eaten the leftovers every day this week for lunch (and there is still some left in the fridge that we’ll probably polish off today). In fact, it’s so good that Beloved is campaigning for it to be part of our Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I may very well accommodate him.
This would work well with just about any kind of winter squash, and Barbara says you can use sweet potatoes if you prefer. She also says this would make a great dessert, and if you use sweet potatoes, I’d have to agree.
Note: This dish is vegetarian as written; if you sub the butter with olive oil or palm oil shortening for greasing the pan, it will become vegan – and dairy-free – as well.
Click the image to enlarge
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
- 2 cups apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1/2 cup unsalted almond butter
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously butter a 9" x 13" baking dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the almond butter and maple syrup until well-blended. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper. Pour the almond butter mixture over the contents of the bowl and toss to coat all of the pieces of squash and apple evenly. Add the seasonings and stir to combine.
- Pour the squash mixture into the buttered baking dish and spread out evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until the squash and apples are tender. Remove the foil and return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the top of the casserole begins to brown.
- Nutrition (per serving): 425 calories, 13.2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 343.5mg sodium, 426.3mg potassium, 77.5g carbohydrates, 6.6g fiber, 26.5g sugar, 3.8g protein