In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring: Butternut Squash
Sage-Roasted Butternut Squash
Roasting butternut squash brings out its natural sweetness as the sugars caramelize. Sage pairs well with the earthy flavor of the squash and gives the dish a depth of flavor. This is a delicious way to serve butternut squash as a side for almost any meal. Add any leftover squash to salads or reheat for another meal. Inspired by Food & Wine. Serves 2 to 4.
- One large butternut squash, about 3 lbs., peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 to 6 cups)
- 2 Tbsp. Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Mix it up! Try Sigona’s Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil or Sigona’s Herbes de Provence Olive Oil.)
- About 8 to 10 large, fresh sage leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Spread out the diced butternut squash and sage on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly.
Spread the ingredients out in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, tossing half way through, until tender and lightly browned. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy.
Butternut Squash, Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup
This is a wonderfully comforting winter soup. You could even add some browned pancetta or mild Italian sausage to give it a extra hearty boost and added layer of flavor. We love adding a few dashes of Tabasco, a nod to our mother’s family; they landed in New Orleans after leaving Sicily many years ago. Serves about 6.
- 2 Tbsp. Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for finishing
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups chicken stock or broth
- Optional: 1 lb. ground sausage, mild or other, browned and drained
- 1 bunch Lacinato kale, stems and veins removed (*see tip below), roughly chopped into strips
- 4 to 5 cups peeled and diced butternut squash (about half a large squash)
- 2 cans (~15 oz. each) Cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, optional
- Tabasco, to taste
*Cook’s note: Kale is smaller so it’s difficult to cut out the stem and veins. An easy way to so this is with your hands: hold the stem at the base where leaf begins. With your other hand, hold the stem between your thumb and index finger knuckle, apply pressure and pull up, stripping the leaf from the stem. Discard stems.
Directions: In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, squash and celery. Season with salt and pepper; sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.
Add in the stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, covered, or until the squash is fork tender. At this point, if desired, you can use an immersion blender to make a puree of the ingredients before adding the kale, beans and sausage (if using).
Add in the kale, beans and browned sausage, if using. Bring soup to a boil then reduce to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 more minutes or until the kale has wilted and the beans and soup are warmed through.
Remove from heat, season with salt, pepper and Tabasco, to taste. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over individual servings (this brings out the flavor of the oil) and top with grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Allow diners to add more Tabasco, if desired.
Truffled Butternut Macaroni & Cheese
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash about 1/2-inch cubes
- 16 oz. dry macaroni or pasta shape of choice such as fusilli
- 1 Tbsp Sigona’s Black Truffle Oil plus more for serving, if desired (remember, a little goes a long way).
- 3 Tbsp Sigona’s Garlic Oil plus 1 additional Tbsp for greasing
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 large shallot minced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups divided, shredded soft, young Gouda, such as Young Farmdal
- 2 cups shredded white cheddar such as Moo-Net, found only at Sigona’s
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
- Fresh black pepper for finishing
- Fresh thyme for garnish
- Directions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 13×9 inch baking dish; set aside.
- Place butternut squash cubes in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook for 7 to 9 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, set aside.
- Cook pasta to al dente in a large pot of salted water. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon of truffle oil and set aside.
- In the same large pot, melt butter with 3 tablespoons garlic oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Whisk in flour, creating a paste-like texture. Slowly whisk in the milk until combined, then whisk in the heavy cream. Heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens; don’t allow it to boil. Reduce heat to low, season with salt and pepper.
- Add 1 cup of cream sauce to a blender or food processor. Add squash and puree until smooth. Add puree to remaining cream sauce, then stir in 1 cup of the gouda, all the cheddar and the Pecorino Romano.
- When cheese is melted, add the pasta to the pot, scraping any remaining truffle oil from the bowl. Gently fold the pasta into the cheese mixture then transfer to the baking dish. Sprinkle remaining Gouda on top.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Finish with freshly ground black pepper and garnish with fresh thyme, either as sprigs or stripped from the stem and sprinkled over the top. Allow guests to dot their servings with additional truffle oil, if desired (reminding them a little goes a long way).
Fire-Roasted Tomato & Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Basil Oil
- Half of a 2 1/2 to 3 lb. butternut squash seeded
- 2 Tbsp Sigona’s Basil Oil plus more for drizzling, see note
- Flaky salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- About 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- About 1/8 tsp chili powder
- Half a large yellow onion diced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic minced
- 18 to 20 Roma tomatoes or about 2 lb. of another variety, or a 28 oz. can of crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups vegetable broth
- Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
- Crusty bread such as a locally made loaf by Midwife & The Baker
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. With a fork, poke holes in the cut side of the squash. Brush the cut side with 1 tablespoon of the basil oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cinnamon and chili powder. Place on a baking tray, cut side up, and roast for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the center of the squash is fork tender. Allow to cool to about room temperature.
- If fire-roasting your own tomatoes, preheat an outdoor grill over medium heat. Brush the grates with oil and add the tomatoes. Grill, covered, over medium heat, rotating the tomatoes every 8 to 9 minutes or until all sides are charred and roasted. Remove to a bowl and cover with foil for about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the skins and discard. Set tomatoes aside.
- Heat remaining olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Place the onion mixture along with the tomatoes, canned or DIY, in a food processor (working in batches if necessary) and puree until smooth (a little chunky is ok). Return mixture to the soup pot over low heat.
- Scoop butternut squash out from its shell. Add squash and 1/2 cup of broth in a food processor and process until smooth (add a little more broth if necessary). Add squash puree and remaining broth to the soup pot.
- Bring mixture to a boil over high heat; reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more broth if desired.
- To serve, ladle into bowls, drizzle each individual serving with a teaspoon of basil oil and top with shaved parmesan. Serve with crusty bread for dipping.
Roasted Butternut and Asian Pear Salad with a Pomegranate Vinaigrette
For the butternut squash
- 1 Tbsp Sigona’s Garlic Oil
- 1 Tbsp honey such as local, raw Honey Hole Honey Co. honey, available only at Sigona’s
- 1/4 tsp each cinnamon and ground chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- About 2 cups cubed about 1/2-inch cubes butternut squash
For the salad:
- About 12 oz baby spinach or about 1 to 2 hefty handfuls per person
- 1 Asian pear halved, cored and sliced on a mandoline, at about 3mm. (use half or all, depending on size of pear)
- 1/2 cup glazed pecans look for other pecan options in Sigona’s Dried Fruit & Nut section
- At least a 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate arils seeds, more to taste/appearance
- Optional: crumbled feta or goat cheese
For the dressing:
- 3 Tbsp Sigona’s Garlic Oil
- 2 Tbsp Sigona’s Pomegranate Balsamic
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: 1/2 tsp honey if you find the vinaigrette to be too tart once mixed
- Directions: Preheat oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. To prepare the squash, whisk together the garlic oil, honey, cinnamon, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add the squash and toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, flipping the cubes half-way through, until tender but not mushy.
- To make the dressing, either whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl or add to a lidded jar and shake until emulsified.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the spinach with the pear and squash. Transfer to a serving platter or distribute among individual plates. Top with pecans, pomegranate arils and cheese, if using, then drizzle the dishes with a bit of the vinaigrette. Serve remaining vinaigrette on the side.
Butternut Squash Roasted with Cranberry-Pear Balsamic and Herbes de Provence Olive Oil
- 1 medium-large butternut squash about 2 1/2 to 3 lbs., peeled, seeded and diced into 1-inch cubes (about 3 to 4 cups)
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup Sigona’s Cranberry Pear White Balsamic more or less depending on cups of squash
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. Sigona’s Herbes de Provence Olive Oil
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the balsamic and olive oil. Add the squash and toss until all pieces are coated evenly.
- Use hands or a spoon to scoop the squash out onto the baking sheet, spreading it out in a single layer. Drizzle any remaining balsamic and oil on the squash. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 35 to 40 minutes; stir squash around or shake the pan at least twice while roasting so the pieces don’t stick or get too crispy on the bottom. Roast until the squash is tender and has a nice caramelized color.
- Taste for seasoning, transfer to a serving dish and enjoy warm. Drizzle lightly with more olive oil or balsamic, if desired.
Roasted Vegetable Medley
- 12 mini sweet peppers assorted colors, halved, seeded and quartered, if large
- 12 to 15 brussels sprouts peeled and halved
- 1 bunch organic asparagus ends trimmed, stalks cut into thirds
- 8 oz. cremini aka baby bella mushrooms, quartered
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash about 1-inch cubes
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/3 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press Herbes de Provence Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp onion powder optional
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp dried dill
- Sea salt for finishing
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Spread out the prepared peppers, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, mushrooms, squash and garlic on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on the dill and onion powder, if using. Gently toss the mix until well coated.
- Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, shaking the pan about every 7 to 10 minutes. Veggies should be tender and lightly browned. Sprinkle the roasted vegetables with a bit of sea salt , to taste, to finish the dish. Serve warm.