Roasted winter squash gets the star treatment when it’s flavored with a sweet honey vinegar and laid on a bed of creamy ricotta, feta and garlic. Topped with fresh mint and crunchy pistachios, this is one dish you can make all season long and never ever get bored!
As humans, we are taught and influenced by loved ones and friends, instructors and experiences.
Cooks learn from courses they’ve taken, the chefs for whom they’ve worked, restaurants they’ve eaten, places they’ve visited, and people they’ve met along their path.
I feel a deep sense of gratitude to all those who have been influential in my life and the experiences that have helped shape my culinary existence.
My dad exposed me to delicious, global cuisine through his love of food and restaurants. My mom made a wholesome, homemade meal every night for dinner while I was growing up, and instilled in me a love of cooking and enjoying time in the kitchen. I am honored to have studied under great chefs, thrilled to have toured markets and eaten my way through food meccas, and am delighted to break bread with – cooking, sharing and learning from – friends and family. I’ve spent countless hours, reading and researching, studying and observing. Through instruction and tutelage, trial and error, I’ve honed my skills.
I’ve had many influencers along my path, but suffice it to say they are all appreciated and important in my journey with food.
I have my chef heroes – incredibly talented artisans from around the globe – many of whom I haven’t yet met, though inspire me on a daily basis.
For some I’ve stockpiled their cookbooks, and for others, I comb through their blogs. I read with passion, learning new techniques, exploring new styles. No one is born knowing how to combine flavors and textures, or how to perfectly sear a sea scallop.
One of my favorite chefs and authors is Yotem Ottolenghi. I have ALL of his books, including one called, Jerusalem, which he co-wrote with his partner Sami Tamimi. Well, Sami just came out with his own book, which I got my hands on last month. It. Is. Amazing.
This squash recipe is adapted from Sami’s book, Falastin. I am always looking for new approaches with seasonal vegetables, and when I opened it up and saw this winter squash dish, I just HAD to try it.
And now that I have made it a half dozen times, fawning over each bite, I just HAVE to share it!
You are going to love it. 💝 Use any kind of winter squash you like (acorn, butternut, delicata, kabocha, etc.), roast it up and toss it with simple yet zesty ingredients, then lay it on a pillowy bed of creamy ricotta and tangy feta. A perfect veggie side dish for a simple roast chicken on a crisp fall day.
Are There Any Substitutions?
- You can use any kind of winter squash you like. They will have different roasting times, but all work.
- Other nuts besides pistachios work well too – try marcona almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts.
- The mint is really nice here, but cilantro could be used instead.
- The original recipe also added grilled zucchini. We’ve done it this way, and have also made it with grilled eggplant instead, tossing it in with the squash. Delish! But neither is necessary.
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Roasted Winter Squash with Creamy Ricotta & Feta
- 2 medium butternut squash or use 2 large acorn squash or 3 delicata squash
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 garlic cloves grated
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or use 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 cup ricotta
- 3 ounces ½ cup crumbled feta
- 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
- ¼ cup pistachios
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 450. Trim and cut your squash. For butternut, it must be peeled and seeded. For acorn or delicata, seed them, but the skin may be left on. Cut into large chunks or wedges and place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Roast until completely cooked through - the amount of time will depend on your squash and how large you cut it, but it should take somewhere between 25 and 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the honey, 1 of the grated garlic cloves, vinegar, oregano and ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. When the squash has cooked, toss it into the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. This can be done ahead of time and kept at room temperature for an hour or two, or refrigerated for longer.
- Combine the ricotta, feta, lemon zest, lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and remaining garlic clove in a bowl or food processor. Mix until creamy and taste for seasoning. Add more salt or pepper if needed. You can also do this in a bowl and mash it up well with a large fork.
- To serve, spread the cheese mixture on the bottom of a shallow serving platter. Scatter the squash on top, then sprinkle with the pistachios and mint.
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