Ookay. These squash. These squash!! Can you believe how cute they are? Just adorable.
[[If I were still in a sorority I def would have said adorbs.]]
I happened to find these adorbs little guys when I went to my least favorite grocery store in town as a last-minute oops-I-forgot-something trip on my way home one day last week. I can’t even tell you why I went there, but I know it was an emergency because I really avoid going there.
Am I the only one here that avoids certain grocery stores? Anyone? Anyone??
I’m probably all by myself on that one. But hey, I’m a food blogger – I’m allowed to be picky.
SO. I went to said grocery store in the hopes of finding the one item I forgot, and noticed these cute little pumpkin-shaped squash sitting in a pile among a bunch of butternut. They’re mostly cream colored on the outside with vertical stripes of green and orange. So pretty. And they’re pretty small – if you put all your fingertips together and make a sphere shape, they’re about that big.
So I grabbed a couple (definitely not knowing what I was going to do with them) and took them home. I just couldn’t resist!
When I got home I did a little research and determined that they were sweet dumpling squash – and if that’s not the cutest name for a squash you’ve ever heard then I don’t know what is. Dumpling! I think that’s what I’ll nickname my first child.
Juuuuust kidding. AJ – don’t get too concerned (yet).
Because these guys were just so cute and supposedly tasty (I had never had them before), I decided to roast them for my Vegan Thanksgiving Feast we’re having here on the blog this month. And then I went crazy with the flavors.
Like, cray-cray. (Who put me in sorority mood today?)
I knew that these guys were going to be pretty sweet, so I wanted to balance it with something a bit salty. I decided on dijon (though now that I’m thinking about it again, miso might have been interesting). Anyway, something in my head decided that dijon and sage must get together and be friends, and that they should have a party with my sweet squash (I’m pretty sure I have the weirdest parties ever) (WHY SO MANY PARENTHESES???).
And so they did.
But then! I wasn’t quite done with my flavor craziness, because I decided cranberry sauce needed to be invited to the party, too. I know turkey and cranberry usually show up at parties together, but since this is a vegan dish turkey just flat out wasn’t invited. Sorry, turkey (not sorry).
Squash can be a really hearty part of a Thanksgiving spread, so I thought it could probably stand up quite well to the sweet-tart flavors of the cranberry sauce. And I know I already put dijon&sage together on the squash, but don’t run away yet. It was surprising how well all of this came together.
So instead of doing just regular ol’ cranberry sauce, I decided to spice it up with another of winter’s most amazing gifts – pomegranate.
The pomegranate in this really adds just an extra dimension to the sauce. It’s one of those things that will just make a guest tilt their head (imagine cute puppy) and ask what that flavor is in the sauce. It’s noticeable, but not overpowering.
And it’s noticeable in a good way. Really good. If you’re like me and are pretty tired of the traditional cranberry-orange sauce, definitely give this a go. It’s my new go-to cranberry sauce, and I’m pretty stoked on it. I’m actually pretty stoked on cranberry sauce in general. It’s 1) really tasty and satisfies my sweet-tart cravings and 2) is SO EASY. It’s so easy that I really wonder why anyone would buy it in a can.
Whoever buys cranberry sauce in a can should be shunned (sorry not sorry).
And then you eat it all together! I know you think I’m crazy (we went over this) but the flavors went really well together. AJ, a self-proclaimed non-squash-lover, even said, “Wow, the sauce goes really well with the squash.” For the record, he purportedly doesn’t even like cranberry sauce.
Now who’s crazy?
Don’t answer that. BUT. Go make this squash AND the sauce and try them and tell me you loved it. Even if it’s not Thanksgiving and you just want to make a tasty meal – we totally did that and served it alongside some rice. Eez guud.
You guys ready for more TG food coming up this week? I know I am! VEGAN PUMPKIN PIE woooooo! See ya Thursday!
Dijon & Sage Roasted Squash
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 5 servings
- 2 dumpling squash
- 1/2 large butternut squash
- 1/4 tsp ground sage
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
for the dressing:
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Turn your oven on to 400ºF. Generously grease a rimmed baking sheet.
- Carefully cut the dumpling squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice into 1/2″ wedges (at the thickest part – the ends will be thinner). You’ll leave the skin on these.
- Peel the butternut squash and cut into 1/2″ cubes. Place everything on the baking sheet, trying not to overlap.*
- Roast the squash for 15 minutes, toss, and cook for another 15 minutes. The squash should be fork-tender when done.
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. When the squash is done cooking, use a silicone pastry brush to brush it over the squash.
- Serve, garnished with fresh dill and sage alongside the Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce (recipe follows).
– If you want to double this recipe, you can pile everything into a 9×13″ baking dish. If the squash overlaps a bunch it won’t get as crispy, but sill still be delicious.
– This recipe will feed 3 people for a normal meal (i.e. one veggie and a carb). However, since it was developed as a Thanksgiving dish, I’ve bumped that to 5 due to the huge number of dishes generally available and the relatively small portions each person takes of each dish.
Sauce time! ?Print
Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 3/4 cup pomegranate juice
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- Combine all ingredients in a heavy, wide saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring very often.
- Reduce the heat to just above a simmer and let cook, stirring very often, until almost all of the cranberries have burst, about 10 minutes. It will still be rather liquidy at this point, but will gel as it cools.
- Remove from the heat, let cool, and serve.
Squash nutrition facts:
Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce nutrition facts: