Last fall, out on my own, looking for yummy things to eat, and cursing the lack-of-vegetable-repertoire that extended beyond steamed broccoli, I starting looking for new vegetables to titillate my palate and nourish my body. I tried just about every fall vegetable I could find like Brussels spouts, parsnips, or spaghetti squash. I wasn’t too impressed with the stuff I was trying but was more than willing to try again since a) winter produce in Alaska is, well, yeah…. and b) who could tell if my recipes were any good to begin with! I needed to give the veggies a fair shot to find a permanent place on my plate before I can in good conscience dismiss them.
But two veggies that I found were definite winners: butternut squash is a wonderful surprise, more like pumpkin than anything else, and who doesn’t like pumpkin? Plus the stuff is super-versatile. You can roast it, put it in a risotto, make soup out of it, the list goes on and on. The other winner I found was shallots. Have you tried these things? They’re freakin’ fantastic! If you mated butter, garlic, and an onion, you would get a shallot. They are wonderfully mild yet still very flavorful and will literally melt into a dish the way its more pungent cousins never will. Plus, they melt in your mouth. What an amazing little vegetable.
So you can imagine my joy when, while looking for butternut squash recipes because I had bought too much (again), I ran across this gem. You mean it has butternut squash AND tons of shallots??? AND one of the best roasting herbs, thyme??? AND it is super easy, cooks quickly, and is amazingly delicious? Where do I sign up???
So seriously, do yourself a favor and try this recipe. It would fit wonderfully into a Thanksgiving menu too. You’ll find it on my own table come Thursday, the 22nd of November.
Roasted butternut squash with shallots and thyme
From the November 2004 issue of Cook’s Illustrated