Brussels sprouts and cinnamon butternut squash with pecans and cranberries

Looking for a healthy side dish for your holiday meals? Ever Ready has got you covered with roasted brussels sprouts and cinnamon butternut squash with pecans and cranberries.

This dish is packed with vegetables, rich in fiber, gluten free and oh so good for you. Recipe is served at warm  or room temperature.

Pair the veggie dish with roast chicken, turkey, pork or duck served with a rich flavorful cabernet cranberry blueberry sauce.

Brussels sprouts and cinnamon butternut squash with pecans and cranberries

Cook’s notes:

Much of the preparation for this dish can be done ahead of the actual roasting.

Brussels sprouts can be halved with outer leaves removed. Place in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate until needed.

As a time saver buy prepared butternut squash cubes.

Toast pecans at 350 for 5 minutes. Spread out on a plate until needed. 

Roast both brussels sprouts and butternut squash on two separate baking sheets at the same time in the oven on different racks.

Recipe from Julia’s album — serves 6.

Roasted brussels sprouts

Ingredients:

3 cups brussels sprouts ends trimmed, outer leaves removed (about 1 lb.)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt to taste

Lemon squeeze and grated parmesan cheese

Roasted Butternut Squash

1 1/2 lb butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch cubes (yields about 4 cups of uncooked cubed butternut squash)

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Red onion slices

Other ingredients:

1-1/2 cups pecan halves

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup halved red grapes 

How to roast brussels sprouts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone pad.

Trim ends of brussels sprouts and outer leaves. Slice all brussels sprouts in half.

In a medium bowl, combine halved brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine. Squeeze lemon juice over the sprouts.

Place on baking sheet cut side down, and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, the cut sides should be nicely and partially charred but not blackened.

Grate Parmesan cheese over the top.

How to roast butternut squash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone pad. 

In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, red onion slices. Toss to mix.

Place butternut squash in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until softened.

In a large bowl, combine roasted brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cranberries, and mix to combine.

Optional: For more sweetness, add 1 teaspoon maple syrup, if desired.

Cabernet cranberry blueberry sauce

Ingredients:

One 8-ounce bag fresh cranberries

6-ounces frozen blueberries (about 1 1/2 cups), unthawed

1 cup cabernet sauvignon (or shiraz, merlot)

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp.. Saigon cinnamon

1/8 tsp. to 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, taste test

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a medium to large kettle, and bring to a rolling boil, stirring intermittently. Make sure kettle has room for sauce to at least triple in volume. The juices from the berries release and as the mixture boils rapidly, it will foam and a too-small pot will easily overflow.

Reduce heat to low and allow sauce to simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until reduced and thickened slightly, and most of the cranberries have burst. Sauce will thicken more as it cools.

Transfer to heat-safe jars or containers with lids. Allow sauce to cool at room temperature before refrigerating. Sauce will keep airtight in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks

Twice a month The Seasonal Plate food column will highlight dishes inspired by the changing seasons. My passion for travel, poetry, writing, exploring new cuisines, trying recipes and cooking  have been inspiration for the recipes I have published on my blog http://www.sockfairies.blogspot.com.

Questions/comments at: theseasonalplate@outlook.com

Sue Ready is a writer, poet and former middle school teacher. She is the president of the Northwoods Arts Council in Hackensack.

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