Thursday, October 21, 2010

Roasted Pear and Butternut Squash with Arugula Salad

Before I get started, just wanted to let you all know that my good friend Dina is posting some of my recipes over at her Bay Area and beyond dining blog, The Dish and the Dirt. She's a true lover of food and a great writer, so check her out! She's going through some of my archived recipes for now, but eventually there will be new posts from me about dining.  First up is the Salmon en Papillote recipe that I loved so much.

I'm trying to get in the swing of things with fall produce, and found a tasty looking recipe in the October issue of the Martha Stewart Living magazine.  MS and I have a love-hate relationship, where I usually avoid her at all possible costs, but the magazine is kind of irresistible to me during the holidays.  Note: Kevin broke out in hysterics when I referred to the "holidays" as to include Halloween--he is very ignorant.

Back to the food.  The recipe was very seasonal and sounded easy enough so I went for it, with a few adjustments.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
  • 3 Bosc pears (not too soft) (or 2-3 apples)
  • 4 cipollini onions (the recipe called for 8, I only bought 4, and one of them turned out to be rotten--so I used a whopping 3 onions)
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
  • 6-7 fresh sage leaves, torn or roughly chopped
  • 5 oz baby arugula (one of those plastic boxes)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • vinegar--apple cider, red wine, vinegar, or white wine
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
Serves 4

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Woohoo you can do this in the fall!!

Hi pears! Wash em. No need to peel. Quarter, core, and cut into 1/2" chunks (or, if you're like me, cut them whatever size you want, just try to keep it uniform.

Trim ends of cipollini onions. Peel. The recipe said to cut them into 1/4" rings, but frankly when I visualized that, I also visualized accidentally severing my fingers from the rest of my hand. So I cut them in half, from tip to root, set them on the newly cut and FLAT side, and sliced them lengthwise, into 1/4" half-moons.

Place pears and onions on baking sheet.  Toss with 2 tsp olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Prep the butternut squash by peeling the squash and cutting the flesh into 1/2" chunks.  To deal with a butternut squash, I first trim both the top and bottom to get level surfaces.  Then I stand up the butternut squash on its flat bum, and halve the whole sucker lengthwise.  Then I cut the long neck from the round bottom (which I first typed as buttom, which I think looks really cute) of each half.  Then, propping each piece on its level surface, carefully peel with a knife by working downwards towards the cutting board, strip by strip.  Some say you can do this with a vegetable peeler, but I tried that for .2 seconds before I realized that wasn't going to work for me.  Then chop into your hunks.

Place on baking sheet, and toss with 2 tsp oil, salt and pepper.

Place both baking sheets in the oven, and roast away.  

For the pear/onions, roast for about 20-25 minutes total, tossing halfway through.  During the last few minutes, toss half the chopped sage leaves onto the mixture.

Very good.  Very good indeed.

The butternut squash needs to roast a little longer. The recipe says 40-45 minutes total, but mine were done shortly after the pears/onions, about 30-25 minutes total. Depends on your oven and how you cut the squash--just keep an eye.  As with the pears/onions, I tossed on some sage leaves towards the end.

I realize this looks suspiciously like the raw butternut squash, but look veeerrry carefully and you can see the caramelization.  Whoopee.

Wash arugula. Dry well.  Dress with a few teaspoons each of vinegar and oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Top with squash, pears/onions, and toasted walnuts. 

Ta-da!  This was actually very very good and I highly recommend it.


  1. Whoa. It's like you're reading my mind. I almost roasted a pear yesterday but didn't have a recipe. THEN last weekend I almost bought a butternut squash. But then I didn't. Whoa.

  2. Yum! I love squash (and pears) - I don't hold for it the same apathy I do for other vegetables.

  3. Well, I guess I know what I'm having for dinner tonight! Thanks!

  4. Ooh, I just so happen to have a butternut squash at home and an onion. All I need is some pears. Bring me some? Kthanksbye

  5. those pears looks fabulous! I must try that this weekend.

  6. Seriously, thanks for dinner! It was so tasty!

  7. wait a minute. where is the bacon.

  8. Mina, you are so hilarious!! And, I think the word buttom looks cute too. :)