Tag Archives: spinach

Butternut Squash with Roasted Garlic and Spinach

This one-sheet-pan side dish comes together in a snap. You can use pre-cut butternut squash and bagged, clean baby spinach to make it even easier! I do like freshly-cut butternut squash, so here are my tips: choose a squash with a long, wide neck and narrow, small bottom. Use a heavy and very sharp knife to cut the neck and base in two pieces, and then use the knife to cut off the skin. You can then cut the neck into a one-inch dice, and then cut the base into half, cut away the skin and scoop out the seeds to continue to cut it into one-inch cubes. I like to use a spring-loaded scoop to scrape out the seeds, it gets down deep and the seed release quickly. After the muscle work, all you have to do is put it on a sheet pan!

Butternut Squash with Roasted Garlic and Spinach

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 whole butternut squash, about 1 1/2 pounds, cut into a one-inch dice, or a pound of fresh packaged diced butternut squash

5 cloves of garlic, skins removed

1 bunch of fresh spinach, washed and chopped, or one 12-ounce bag of washed baby lettuce

Good quality olive oil, kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the cut butternut squash on the sheet pan and drizzle with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper. Toss together and distribute evenly around the sheet pan.

Place the garlic cloves on a small sheet of aluminum foil, about 3-inches by 3 inches. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic up in the aluminum foil like an envelope, bringing the sides in and the top over. Place the aluminum packet on the sheet pan with the butternut squash. Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast for about 35-40 minutes, turning the butternut squash halfway through with a spatula and checking the garlic packet. If the garlic packet turns golden brown before the butternut squash does, remove it from the oven (this could depend on the size of your garlic cloves.)

When the butternut squash is evenly browned and the garlic is soft and golden, remove the sheet pan. Take the garlic out of the packet and place on a cutting board. Quickly chop the garlic and put it on the sheet pan with the butternut squash. Put the spinach on the hot sheet pan, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and turn it with the butternut squash using a spatula until the spinach has wilted. The heat of the sheet pan should be sufficient to wilt the spinach, but if not, place it in the oven again for a minute. Serve warm.  

Farro with Mushrooms and Spinach

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Here in the beach cities, fall is late to show itself. We shake off the summer morning gloom for freakish, still, clear-skied heat. Sometimes we call it earthquake weather, sometimes we call it heaven. My apricot tree gets so confused it goes into bloom, as bare as its branches are. But I get my produce from a local farm that has thought ahead to what we would like to see on our plates for fall. Squash, Brussels sprouts, woody herbs, apples. Mushrooms, ((swoon)), mushrooms.

Suppose you were at a cocktail party, and you had to answer an ice-breaker question about what vegetable would be your boyfriend? Mine would be a mushroom. So down to earth, exotic, sensual…but back to topic:

Have you noticed all of this talk about vitamin D deficiency? It seems as though everyone is being prescribed a supplement, but when I had a conversation with my physician about it, I told her I get plenty of sunshine, no supplement, thank you. I learned an interesting thing: you have to have vitamin D in your body to for the sunshine to wake it up, your body doesn’t just naturally produce it. Good news is that mushrooms are one of the only items on the produce aisle rich in vitamin D. Great news for me and long walks on the sunny fall beach with my vegetable boyfriend.

Farro with Mushrooms and Spinach

Serves 4

Ingredients

8 ounces quick cooking farro

2 dried bay leaves

olive oil, salt & pepper

8 ounces brown cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, sliced

1 shallot, sliced

2 cloves garlic

2 ounces of baby spinach

2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

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Method

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pour the farro and bay leaves into the boiling water, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When farro is cooked to al dente, drain in a colander. Place farro in a large mixing bowl, remove bay leaf, and put aside to cool.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and drizzle enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes, until golden, then stir to turn and continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until juices release and mushrooms are completely brown. Season with salt and pepper and add to the farro. Drizzle a bit more olive oil in the pan and add the shallots and garlic. Cook for another few minutes, then add in the spinach and parsley, cooking just to wilt. Season with the vegetables with salt and pepper, then add the vegetables to the farro mixture. Stir everything together and taste for seasoning,  adding additional olive oil, salt and pepper if needed.

Serve farro warm, at room temperature or cold.