One thing I really like about Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian that I keep talking about is that besides being a generally good reference, it’s also fairly loose in its recipes. A lot of “if you don’t have x, that’s ok – just make do with what you’ve got!” sort of instructions. I’m trying to become a better cook – and part of that process is learning to be much looser with other people’s recipes, and adapt them to my own tastes. I’m totally comfortable doing that with certain dishes, like risotto, but with others… let’s just say I’m getting there.
Today I worked from home while we had a bit of electrical work done around the house (we now have a plug in our kitchen island! And under counter lighting! YAY!), and I took our new awesome kitchen and the extra time as inspiration to cook an awesome dinner for me & Adam. And cook an awesome dinner I did! The highlight: Stuffed Butternut Squash.
This was a super super simple dish with all sorts of easy adaptations. It came in the from of a big chart from Bittman – with few instructions beyond “mix these ingredients, put them in the squash and bake it until it’s done.” Sure! So here’s what I did:
- Roast some garlic.
- Cut a butternut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Scoop a bit more of the flesh along the length of the squash to give more room for the filling. Save this extra flesh.
- Drizzle the squash with olive oil, and stick it in a roasting pan, cut side down. Drizzle with a bit more oil. Stick it in the oven at 350˚F until tender (I gave it 30-40minutes or so).
- Meanwhile, mix the following in a bowl:
– Extra butternut squash flesh
– A handful of dried apricots, chopped roughly
– A head of roasted garlic (just squeeze the cloves into the bowl).
– A bit of breadcrumbs (I probably used 3 tablespoons)
– Some roughly chopped raw almonds
- When the squash is mostly tender, flip it over and fill with the stuffing and top with more breadcrumbs.
- Stick it back in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until done! It can go longer, or less – whatever fits your schedule. if it goes too long – turn the temp down so that it doesn’t burn.
We enjoyed our squash with a simple risotto and some garlic zucchini. A lovely dinner, if I do say so myself!
And later I’ll post about the super yummy dessert I made too…. but first I need to go eat it!