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Seasonal Sides

January 25, 2012

by Emily

Like Liz, I also struggle with keeping vegetables healthy but interesting and tend to default to the “same old, same old” recipes.  I’ve been trying to solve veggie burnout by preparing more seasonal recipes, which forces me a little bit out of my comfort zone.

Lucky for you, we’ve done a little legwork and along with the Broccolini, I’ve found two more delicious vegetable recipes that surprisingly do not involve cheese and are still reasonably healthy. By adding toasted nuts and some dried fruit to roasted butternut squash, it becomes a much cozier, satisfying vegetable option.  As for the second side, if you are lucky Liz and I will be over our Brussels Sprouts addiction eventually. But until further notice, we still like them truffled, as a salad, as a cheesy gratin, and now with apple cider and cinnamon.

I hope you take these two unique variations on winter vegetables and make them your new side-dish essentials!

Butternut Squash, Pecans, and Currants
NY Times

2 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds each)
7 tablespoons extra  virgin olive oil
5 thyme sprigs
Salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup currants or cranberries
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the squash in two at the base of the neck, discarding the hollow bulb end. Peel the rest and slice into  1/2-inch disks. Toss the squash in a large roasting pan with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, thyme and salt and pepper to taste, and arrange in a single layer.  Roast the squash, turning once halfway through, until tender and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, combine garlic and one tablespoon of the remaining olive oil. Sauté until fragrant and tender, about one minute. Add pecans and sugar, and toss until the sugar has melted and the pecans are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Whisk the vinegar into the remaining olive oil. Add the pecan mixture, currants and chili flakes. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the squash on a warm platter and top with some or all of the dressing.

Cider-Cinnamon Brussels Sprouts

1 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups brussels sprouts, halved
1 large apple, diced
1 large pear, diced
1 cup apple cider
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large pan over medium heat, heat oil. Cook brussels sprouts cut side down, flipping once, until browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add apple and pear; cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add cider and cinnamon; simmer, stirring, until all liquid cooks away.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2012 2:03 pm

    This reminds me of Thanksgiving, and I love it!

  2. meredith permalink
    January 25, 2012 11:12 pm

    Brussel sprouts are my fav veggie! I’ll have to try this recipe.

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