Travel Eats

Entries in butternut squash (2)


A Lighter Shade of Meal


I love "Plenty" for it's unique vegetable preparations.  Left to my own devices I likely would have pureed this butternut squash down into a boring soup.  Maddy would have made squash ravioli.  After a relatively busy day in clinic, ravioli wasn't happening in Chez Lee.

Modified slightly from his recipe

Butternut squash with sweet spices, lime and (no green chile--I omitted)

2 limes (or 4-5 Key limes): slice skin off

sea salt

4 TBS olive oil

1 medium butternut squash (or two lb. cubed from Costco like I used)-sliced in half, seeded and sliced into 1/2" slices

2 TBS cardamom pods (I had these because a friend sent from Kuwait--you could use ground cardomom--about 2 tsp worth)

1 tsp ground allspice

1 cup yogurt (plain)

1/4 cup tahini

2/3 cup cilantro leaves

Slice limes into quarters and then into thin slices.  Mix with a pinch of salt and 1 TBS olive oil.  If you are using pods--mortar and pestle til open, remove pods and grind seeds to rough powder. Mix spices and remaining olive oil and toss with squash, sprinkle with salt.  Roast in 400F oven til tender.  Cool to room temp.

Mix yogurt and tahini, adding water to make it pourable if necessary. Toss with squash.  Mix in limes, and top with chopped cilantro.

 A great butternut squash dish that somehow doesn't wind up tasting like it belongs on the dessert table.


Lucky Salad

This salad is my coworker's favorite, and we had a long night ahead of us.  Once a year the faculty covers L&D when the residents have their retreat.  Historically it has been a horribly chaotic experience fraught with high risk patients coming in by the busload.  Anticipating the need for a quick and quality meal we decided to bring in our own food--ready when we wanted it and not takeout pizza.

I modified a recipe I found on Smitten Kitchen.  I have used sweet potatoes in the past--actually I think they are better and will use exclusively in the future as they are easier that butternut squash as well. 

For the salad:

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 of a medium red onion, 1/4" dice

2 large handfuls of arugula

For tahini dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

Combine beans, squash, onion and arugula, tossing with dressing.  The dressing can also be served on the side.  I have held this salad at room temp for several hours without affecting the quality.

To take the onion flavor down a notch I chopped the onions and put them in an ice water bath for 10 minutes, drained and dried before adding to salad.  Our patients thanked us for this.

We had time to eat our salad.  In a strange turn of events, the night was peaceful with two nice, normal vaginal deliveries and no drama or trauma.  Maybe I will have to make this salad every year.