Roasted Butternut Squash with Smoky Eggplant & Basil
Roasted Butternut Squash with Smoky Eggplant & Basil

When I first came across this recipe, I thought it strange to pair an autumn vegetable with a summer vegetable, and didn’t pay it any attention. One day while walking around the farmers market in early fall, I saw the last of the eggplant and the first of the butternut squash together on the same table. Since then, this recipe has become one that I return to again and again at that magical time of year when both are in season. They are a natural pairing, and a delicious one.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Smoky Eggplant & Basil

Roasted Butternut Squash with Smoky Eggplant & Basil
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook
When I first came across this recipe, I thought it strange to pair an autumn vegetable with a summer vegetable, and didn't pay it any attention. One day while walking around the farmers market in early fall, I saw the last of the eggplant and the first of the butternut squash together on the same table. Since then, this recipe has become one that I return to again and again at that magical time of year when both are in season. They are a natural pairing, and a delicious one.
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Course Side Dish
Servings 6

Ingredients
 

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

For the eggplant

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 glove garlic, grated or finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 425 F. Cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Peel the skin using a vegetable peeler, and cut the squash into wedges about 3 inches long and 1 inch thick (no need to be super precise). Place on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, about ½ teaspoon of salt, the allspice and freshly cracked black pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and toss with the maple syrup. Return to the oven and cook another 10 minutes, or until tender. Once done, set aside and cool slightly.
  • Prick the eggplant with a knife in a few spots (this will keep it from exploding in the oven by allowing the steam to escape). Place it on a foil lined baking sheet and turn the oven to broil. Place under the broiler, 10 inches or more from the heat, and cook, turning every 5 minutes or so, until it is fully charred and very soft. Remove from the oven, wrap the foil around the eggplant and let cool.
  • Turn the oven down to 325 F. Place all the seeds on a baking pan and toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Remove them from the oven.
  • When cool enough to handle, peel the eggplant, or scoop out the flesh leaving the burnt skin behind. Chop coarsely, then place in a bowl and add the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Stir well to combine, and add about ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed (I find that eggplant usually needs to be very well salted).
  • Smear the eggplant on the bottom of a wide, shallow serving bowl. Arrange the squash on top. Scatter the seeds and the basil over the squash and serve at room temperature.

Notes

I’ve made this recently and didn’t have all the nuts and seeds in my pantry that the recipe calls for. I had some marcona almonds, and they worked beautifully. You can use what is called for, or a combination of them or different nuts alltogether. Pistacios, hazelnuts, walnuts, or cashews would all work well.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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