Monday, October 6, 2014

Colorful Roasted Butternut Squash with Potato, Pepper and Leeks

Cubes of butternut squash and potato roasted with pieces of pepper and seasoned with leeks. A colorful side dish for a holiday meal or for a simple family supper.

The other day I talked about my Appetizer recipes, tooting my own horn about my ever-growing list of vegetable (and now meat and fruit) appetizers. Today I'm focused on side dishes. I can could make meals out of side dishes. Back when we lived near a Boston Market restaurant I was happy to skip the chicken or meatloaf and instead feast on greens, squash, stuffing, potatoes, corn, beans . . . whatever looked good and could be plentiful on my plate.

The suck part of desiring a variety of colorful side dishes is having to make them all. For this recipe I decided to combine a few veggies--the most colorful ones on hand--and roast them together. One cooking session that would result in a plentiful pile of color on my plate. It not only looked good--it tasted terrific, especially alongside a roasted chicken.

Over the past few weeks I've been gathering all the ingredients for a repeat of this side dish (first made--and photos shot last winter). Fall crops from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share generally keep well over a long period. In a cool dark place you can store winter squash, potatoes, and onions for months. Peppers and leeks hang out in the crisper for a few weeks--and can be frozen to use in soups and stews as well. So even if you're getting the fresh local produce in October [and you celebrate Thanksgiving in the US in November--I won't rant this time] with proper storage your produce will be ready when you're ready to cook.

I've revamped my Visual Recipe Index! For more ideas on what to do with your butternut squash, click here.

Note: I've only seen fairly small blue potatoes, so I suggest halving or quartering them. If you've got monstrous potatoes, cut them down to about 2 bite size.
Another Note: if you're roasted these alongside a chicken--at a lower temperature that is--increase the overall time. Perhaps you'd put the squash and peppers in the oven when there's one to 1¼ hours left to go.
I forgot the leeks, the butter, the olive oil, the salt and pepper . . . I'm sorry.

Colorful Roasted Butternut Squash with Potato, Pepper and Leeks

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks (link to Alanna's tutorial)
6-10 blue potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt, plus more for later
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for later
1 large bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 to 2 leeks, sliced, rinsed, and drained

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, toss the squash and potatoes together with the butter and olive oil. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet (plain metal, or oiled, or lined with parchment--your choice). Season with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, then stir. Return to the oven and roast again for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in the peppers and leeks, with a pinch of salt and pepper added to the tray. Roast again for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and taste--do you need additional salt and pepper? Serve warm.

And, a photo taken while I was cooking this meal--dear sweet Oliver cuddling with my spouse.
I miss that dog.


  1. Aw Oliver is alive and well in Farm Fresh Feast pictures. Or at least we can picture him frolicking in fields of green.

    This side dish sounds delicious, and I would definitely make a meal out of it, which I often tend to do with sides. I much prefer them to the main course anyway. Beautiful colors.

    1. Meghan,
      I'm glad I'm not alone making a meal out of the sides. I've got a purple carrot, just one, in the farm share and have Big Plans for it. Not sure what those Big Plans are just yet, but I do know they are Big.

  2. Yep, side dish + salad = dinner. Done it many times myself. :) Or sometimes we'll just make a side salad that is four servings and two of us will finish it off and call that dinner. Along with some wine, of course! I love purple potatoes, why don't I use them more often??

    1. Julie,
      I really need to get better about the salads. It's not that they are hard to fix, but the mental effort of cajoling a kid to eat a piece of lettuce can be exhausting. Easier to skip it, but then I'm stuck with 1 ½ bags of salad mix the day before I pick up the farm share. Ack!