Most butternut squash recipes call for roasting and then pureeing the squash for soup or as a side dish. This recipe uses the grill to caramelize the squash’s sweet flesh while sealing in its moisture. With each bite, the delicate char on the outside of a grilled piece gives way to a creamy inside.
Butternut in itself contains high levels of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, manganese, and vitamin C (Busch), and when paired with the tangy antioxidant punch of pomegranates, the combination creates a superfood power dish.
While this recipe is best executed right before serving, the butternut can be grilled ahead of time and then finished in the oven as you prepare to serve the meal.
1 peeled butternut squash, cut into 1-inch thick squares (see the picture)
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup walnuts, roasted and chopped
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat or get the coals burning. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Wash, peel, and cut the squash into 1-inch square slices. At the bulb, deseed and then do your best to cut the squash into even slices that match the other slices.
3. Toss the squash in a light coating of olive oil and season with salt.
4. Grill the squash by placing it at an angle on the grates and cooking it for 3 minutes before setting it straight across the grates for another 3 minutes. Flip the squash over, and continue this process to cook the other side. Aim for about 6-7 minutes for each side.
5. Test the squash to see if it is cooked. A fork should slide through the squash slices, but they should still be reasonably firm. If the squash still needs to cook, finish it in oven for another 6-10 minutes.
6. While the squash cooks, prepare the other ingredients. Make the vinaigrette by crushing the garlic clove and immersing it in the vinegar. Let the garlic macerate in the vinegar for about 6 minutes, then whisk in the olive oil and finish with salt. Chop the roasted walnuts, deseed the pomegranate, and place them in separate bowls.
7. When the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven and place it on a serving plate. Put the walnuts and pomegranates on top of the squash. Drizzle the balsamic olive oil over the other ingredients and serve.
Busch, Sandi. "Butternut Squash Health Benefits." SFGate. n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.