A savory late summer or early fall supper of roasted cubes of simply seasoned winter squash, topped with corn and optional bits of smoked sausage.
My friend Heather, of garlic oil on a pizza fame, knows her way around good food. No, she doesn't cook it much--her spouse does--but she sure has great ideas for what goes well together. She was raving about her leftovers for lunch and the combination sounded so good I had to try it. Heather's lunch was loosely patterned after Ina Garten's Caramelized Butternut Squash, but her spouse added canned corn to pump up the veggies. Heather combined another leftover and cheese on top for her leftover remix.
I'm a gardener who has helped teach elementary school aged kids about gardening, so when I hear "squash and corn" I immediately think of a Three Sisters garden. Native Americans would companion plant squash, beans, and corn together--known as the Three Sisters. The Three Sisters helped each other: the corn would provide the scaffolding for the beans to climb and the squash would spread around the base, shading the soil, holding in the moisture, and preventing weeds. When it works, it's a thing of beauty.I had both acorn and butternut squash, as well as some corn I'd put up [boil briefly aka blanch, cut off the cob, spread on a tray to freeze, and store in a bag], so I figured 2 out of 3 I'll call it Two Sisters. I wanted to add bit more protein, however, so I chopped up a piece of smoked sausage. Now it's more like Two Sisters--and a Brother? I've been busy canning lately (you can see the results on my FB page) so an easy filling recipe like this is wonderful for cool nights. And Heather's right--the leftovers are terrific!
NOTE: I created this recipe to be gluten free through my choice of ingredients. Check labels to confirm that your products are also gluten free. Good sources for determining that your products are gluten free can be found here:
Roasted Acorn and Butternut Squash with Corn and Smoked Sausage
2 small acorn squash
1 small butternut squash (together the squash weighed 3 pounds whole and made 7 1/2 cups cubed)
4 Tablespoons melted butter (could use cooking oil, too)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 cups corn (if frozen, set on the counter to thaw when you're prepping the squash)
1 piece (6.75 ounces) smoked sausage, thinly sliced and chopped, optional
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel (oy!) and cube squash into bite-sized one inch cubes.
Combine butter and seasonings in a large bowl. Stir squash in butter until thoroughly coated. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. I used my stoneware bar pan (a metal pan may have a faster cooking time). Bake for 30 minutes, stir. Bake another 15 minutes, stir. Add corn and sausage on top. Bake 10 minutes, stir. Continue baking until edges start to brown (for me that was 5 more minutes for a total baking time of 1 hour). Serve with a sprinkling of cheese if desired.