– by The Olive Oil Source Kitchen
In the fall, when the clock turns back and temperatures drop, we start to crave rich and hearty fare. But it can still be healthy and really good for us if we use good ingredients full of antioxidants and vitamins, like farm stand fresh winter squashes, nuts and olive oil. This special dish, easy to prepare in advance, is a perfect vegetarian addition to grace any holiday table.
Butternut Squash Gratin with Dates and Pistachios
1 Butternut Squash (about 2 lbs)
1½ tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
3 shallots, minced
2/3 cup unsalted, chopped pistachios
1 lemon, zest & juice
6 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Peel squash and cut into ½-inch cubes. Toss in bowl with flour, thyme, salt. Coat bottom of baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Place coated squash in dish and drizzle with remaining oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes until tender. While squash is baking, prepare topping.
Heat oil in sauté pan. Cook shallots until translucent, add remaining nuts, dates and zest. Continue cooking over medium heat, 5 minutes or so. Finish with cinnamon and lemon juice.
Remove squash from oven, sprinkle topping over dish and return to oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.