I made this side dish for a Mediterranean themed dinner party, after adapting the recipe from a post on SimplyRecipes.com. It was my first try at making it, and it was a hit. It had a surprising amount of flavor – the radicchio is a bit bitter, but works together in a very nice way with the sweet caramelized butternut squash and onions. I chose to save the butternut squash seeds (never letting anything go to waste) and spiced the seeds with a touch of cayenne pepper.
INGREDIENTS (6-8 portions as a side dish):
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds) peeled and cut into cubes (save the seeds)
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into wedges through the root
- 1 head of radicchio, cut into wedges through the root
- Olive oil
- ¼ cup of parsley
- ¼ to 1/3 cup of grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- A tiny bit of butter
- A dash of cayenne pepper and salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 oF.
- Cut the butternut squash and remove the seeds. Wash the seeds and let them air dry on a paper towel.
- Cut the onion and radicchio into wedges and toss them together with the butternut squash and olive oil, salting them well. Roast the vegetable mix until their edges are nicely caramelized, turning the radicchio and onion wedges over about halfway through the roasting. The radicchio, onion, and squash will roast at different speeds, so periodically you’ll have to remove the finished vegetables and let the others remain in the oven to finish roasting. As a guideline, roast the radicchio for about 25 minutes, turning halfway. Roast the onions about 35 minutes, again, turning halfway. Roast the squash pieces for 45 minutes, but do not turn. In all cases do not remove from the oven until you see browning on the edges.
- While the vegetables are roasting, pat the pumpkin seeds dry and toast them in a tiny bit of butter on a pan on medium high heat. Sprinkle with a dash of cayenne pepper and salt. Toast them until lightly browned making sure they are not burning.
- Once all the vegetables are cool enough to handle, roughly chop the radicchio and onion into manageable pieces. Place the radicchio, onion, and butternut squash in a large serving bowl. Add the toasted butternut squash seeds and parsley. Add black pepper to taste and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Stir gently to combine, taking care not to mash the soft roasted squash.
- Serve with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan or pecorino cheese.
You can make this dish vegan by substituting the butter with olive oil and skip the shredded cheese at the end.