Roasted Butternut Squash with Smoky Eggplant and Basil

There is a magical time of year when two of my favorite vegetables are found at the farmer’s market. They are an unlikely duo… sweet summer eggplant, and comforting winter squash. When I came across a recipe that combined the two, I thought it a bizarre pairing. It piqued my interest though, and after trying it my belief that Yotem Ottolenghi is a cooking genius was further affirmed. Now when I head to the SLC Downtown Farmer’s market and see the last of the eggplant being sold next to the new crop of winter squash, it seems perfectly natural for these ingredients to marry. You will find it perfectly delicious. I’ve adapted the recipe only slightly from Ottolenghi, The Cookbook.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Smokey Eggplant & Basil

 

Roasted Butternut Squash with Smoky Eggplant and Basil
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 glove garlic grated or finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425. 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 and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Roast about 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Prick the eggplant with a knife in a few spots (this will allow the steam to escape and keep from exploding in the oven). Place on a foil lined baking sheet and turn the oven to broil. Place under the broiler, at least 10 inches from the heat, and cook, turning every 5 minutes or so, until it is blackened and very soft. Remove from the oven and wrap the foil around the eggplant and let cool.
  3. Turn the oven down to 325. Place all the seeds on a baking pan and toast in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  4. 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, syrup, 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).
  5. Smear the eggplant on the bottom of a wide, shallow serving bowl. Arrange the squash on top.
  6. Scatter the seeds and the basil over the squash and serve at room temperature.
Recipe Notes
  1. Ottolenghi does not peel his squash in the recipe. I don’t find the skin of butternut squash to be very enjoyable, but leave it if you like.
  2. He also includes nigella seeds, which can be difficult to find, so I omitted them. If you have them, use 1 teaspoon and add them to the other seeds while toasting.
  3. Wait until the last minute before topping with the seeds and basil so they do not get soggy. This recipe can be made through step 5, assembled and refrigerated.
  4. Before serving, bring to room temperature and complete step 6.

 

Try with the Decero Remolino Vineyard Malbec 2016.

 



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