Monday, October 8, 2012

Quick Hits: Chile-Lime Winter Squash/Sweet Potato

It's that time of year where I fall in love with my favorite orange vegetables again - winter squash and sweet potato. Last year, my CSA farm's winter squash crop was drowned by Hurricane Irene. This picture to the right was taken in the squash field. From a kayak. The squash are under about 12 feet of Connecticut River.
They did find their princess in another castle, though, taking in their best sweet potato crop ever from a field a little farther away from the river. In many recipes, this one included, the two are interchangeable. They have very similar nutritional profiles, as well. They're both extremely high in Vitamin A (as are most orange vegetables) and very good sources of Vitamins C, B6, potassium and fiber.

This simple but striking presentation, dressed in sweet, tart and spicy, works equally well for either. Butternut squash is an excellent choice for a dish like this; it's fleshy and its thin skin means it doesn't need to be peeled, just well washed, before being cubed and roasted. Delicata's another good sweet, thin-skinned variety but have a lower flesh-to-seed ratio than butternut. You can eat the rind of any squash, but with many of the thicker-skinned squashes, like buttercup/kabocha, pumpkin or hubbard, you don't want to.

Chile-Lime Squash/Sweet Potato

vegan, gluten/grain-free
done in about 30 minutes, serves 4 as a side
  • 1 large butternut squash, cut to bite-sized wedges
  • or
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2-3 Tblsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • Dressing:

  • 1-2 T honey
  • zest & juice of one lime
  • ¼-½ tsp. ground chipotle pepper
  • or
  • 1-2 canned chipotles, minced
  • or
  • 1 small red chile, minced
  • some fresh cilantro (optional), roughly chopped

Toss squash with olive oil, spread on sheet pan and sprinkle with salt, cumin, cinnamon. Bake at 450°F for about 25 minutes, turning once. Remove from oven and toss with dressing and cilantro

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