All the various types of winter squashes get me really excited about fall and it’s seasonal flavours.
This is a great side dish to any holiday feast, but is simple enough any night of the week. The squash and sauce can be prepared ahead of time and served at room temperature. Drizzle the dressing over the squash and top with the arugula and seeds just before serving. Winter squashes are full of vitamins A and C, fibre, and many other vitamins and minerals. They are also a source of low glycemic, complex carbohydrates – meaning they can take the place of more starchy foods like white potatoes, rice, or pasta on your table. Most people peel their squashes, but often the skins are so thin that they soften when cooked, and provide a nice texture contrast, along with loads of fibre – so save yourself the effort! Feel free to use whatever type of squash you like best (Kabocha, buttercup, acorn) – although butternut is a crowd pleaser.
Ingredients: Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Tahini Dressing and Arugula
- 1 2-3lb butternut squash
- 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Maple Tahini Dressing:
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp unsalted, toasted pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups baby arugula
Preheat the oven to 425F. Rinse the squash well and cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and discard. Cut the squash into 2 inch irregular pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. To the bowl, add the oil, spices, thyme, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Toss well and coat each piece of squash in the oil mixture.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the squash evenly in one layer, trying not to overlap any pieces. Place squash in oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and caramelized.
While the squash is roasting, combine the dressing ingredients with a pinch of salt in a small bowl. It should be the consistency of thick cream, so add more water as needed. Set aside.
When the squash is done roasting, place on a platter and drizzle with maple tahini dressing. Sprinkle over toasted pumpkin seeds and baby arugula, and serve.
Serves: 4-6 as a side dish
Dr. Bianca Drennan is available for nutritional consultations at The Pacific Wellness Institute. If you have employee benefits that cover a naturopath you can claim this service. Call our front desk at 416-929-6958 to inquire.