Yesterday a friend asked me for something different as a Thanksgiving side dish. I tend to cling to traditional recipes with one hand, while twisting them and turning them a bit modern with another. The Thanksgiving table has to have turkey, pumpkin, brussels sprouts, potatoes, corn pudding, gravy, green beans and stuffing, but not often in the usual heavy way, although let’s face it, it’s a feast no matter what.
This month the Five Star Foodie Challenge was squash, and I submitted a pumpkin pie with a the surprise ingredient, using cream cheese instead of eggs, and reinventing the pumpkin pie into a pumpkin tart. In this side dish, the secret ingredient is still a secret, unless you want to peruse the recipe to find out. You may be quite surprised and you might even squiggle up your nose, but trust me, it makes sense in the end and you won’t know it’s there. It will do its little magic in exciting the dish but not be imposing at the end.
The Process is easy, although the butternut squash is quite daunting if you ever tried to take your knife through one. This is why I always peel it first, then assess the easiest way to cut into it with my sharpest knife. Once it’s cut in half, and seeds are scraped, simply cut into cubes, drizzle the holy marriage of olive oil and sea salt and then roast.
There is much latitude with this recipe. One day I used torn bread pieces, toasted and added in panzanella style. On another day, I added in some purple potatoes and salad greens (as pictured at the top) for a very colorful dish. You could even replace the butternut squash with cubed sweet potatoes for yet another take on this. But, do use Brussels sprouts, and do use that secret ingredient.
Thanksgiving Side: Butternut Squash with Brussels Sprouts and a Secret Ingredient
- 1 butternut squash
- olive oil
- 10 Brussels sprouts
- 3 slices Italian bread
- 3 anchovies
- Fresh sage leaves for adding in dish and garnishing.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Peel butternut squash. Slice in half, scoop out seeds.
- Cut into large cubes, toss with olive oil and roast for 20-30 minutes (until soft).
- Cut stale Italian Bread in cubes (or tear in bite size pieces). Toast in oven.
- Clean Brussels Sprouts. Slice thinly to shred.
- Heat olive oil in pan. Fry sage leaves until crisp. Remove. Set Aside for garnish. Melt anchovies in hot oil. Add Brussels Sprouts. Saute until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Add in a pinch of freshly chopped sage.Add in squash, bread pieces, and season with black pepper and salt as needed. Keep in mind anchovies are salty. Garnish with sage leaves.
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