BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH AGED BALSAMIC, CHILE, AND BREADCRUMBS
Next up, from our In the Veggie Kitchen cooking class, is a delicious butternut squash dish. Topped with aged balsamic, toasted squash seeds, chili flakes, thyme, and homemade breadcrumbs, this dish is so addictive. You can cook the butternut squash ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble. Just make sure you bring the squash to room temperature or heat until warm before serving.
1 large butternut squash, about 2 1/2 pounds
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup homemade breadcrumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, leaves removed
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Add the entire squash and cook, partially covered until tender, about 45 minutes, until a knife can easily pierce through the flesh. Remove the squash, cool slightly, and then remove and discard the stem and peel. Reserve the seeds but discard the stringy interior.
Heat 3 tablespoons of squash seeds in a skillet until dry. Add 1 tablespoon oil, sea salt, and cook until golden, about 3 minutes.
Toss homemade breadcrumbs with thyme, chili flake, and sea salt. Place in an oven heated at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the squash.
1 loaf of sourdough bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the crust from a loaf of sourdough bread. Cut into cubes. Place in a food processor and pulse until the bread is a crumb like texture. Toss breadcrumbs with olive oil to coat and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, season with salt and pepper, and let cool. Store in an air tight container for up to 1 week.
Photos by Michael Wells.