In the Feedback Forum last Friday, a number of you requested recipes for easy to prepare, inexpensive, and quick vegan recipes. This dish is one of my absolute cold-weather favorites, and although it does not adhere to all three criteria, it is incredibly simple and incredibly cheap. As far as ‘quick’, much like No-Knead Bread it requires time only in a passive way. The longer you can slow-roast (at a lower temperature) the better, but the actual prep work is very short. I will be posting more recipes to meet these criteria in the coming weeks, so I’ve added a new tag, ‘quick/easy/cheap‘, for speedy access.
The delight of this dish is it’s diversity – the same fruit is used for two totally different taste profiles: one sweet and one savory. When I photographed this dish I had prepared a Butternut squash, but I have also used Acorn and Heirloom varieties. I think this recipe would work well with any winter squash, including Pumpkin.
1 large or 2 small Winter Squash
1/4 cup olive oil
2-8 garlic cloves, dependent on your garlic affinity
Your choice of herbs, such as Oregano, Basil, Thyme, etc
1/4 cup Maple or Agave syrup
sprinkle of cinanamon
sprinkle of nutmeg
optional: tablespoon of Earthbalance™, melted
Preheat oven. If you have more time preheat to 325º, if you have less time preheat to 375º. Cut your squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and guts. If you intend to roast these, set aside. If not, toss ‘em!
In a small bowl, mix the olive oil and herbs. Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture over one half of the squash. If you don’t have a pastry brush that’s okay – just drizzle it. Peel the garlic cloves and place them, whole, into the little bowl made by the squash’s belly (where the seeds were). Salt and pepper to taste.
On the other half of the squash, drizzle the syrup and then give a light sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. If you want, drizzle with the melted Earthbalance™ as well.
Place both halves on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and bake. Bake time will vary depending on the oven and the size of your squash, but you should bake them until the tops are a bit crispy and a knife slides easily through them. I find it better to cook for lower, longer, but in a pinch you can cook them pretty high and quick. [very] Rough estimate of general cook time is about an hour.
You can cut them into portions to serve. For the savory, mash the garlic into the squash. For the sweet, serve with Earthbalance™. And as always, please experiment, and enjoy!