What I really enjoyed about the preparation of this dish was taking the time to engage in a process of reverence and care for the squash roast. I like to do this as much as possible when I cook, but it's not always feasible in our busy world. But, especially when I am cooking for weekend guests or for a holiday meal, I like to create a ritual of food preparation. If you don’t have the time for the overnight brining in this recipe, its not absolutely necessary and this dish will still taste wonderful.
I like to make a connection to my plant ingredients and often times the longer I am present in the preparation of a recipe, the richer the connection can become. I think about the planting and harvesting process and the qualities that make each plant thrive and how there is an opportunity to take in those qualities for ourself. I often take the time to connect to the Goddess Demeter who is knows as the goddess of harvest. I believe that through this process, that connection and love and energy is delivered to my guests as they eat.
The butternut squash, aka, winter squash and from the species known as Cucurbita Moschata is about 10,000 years old and was originally cultivated in North America. The Native Americans had 3 main crops including corn, beans and squash so this may be why squash is still shared at Thanksgiving which I am now calling Plantsgiving for myself. According to the site, Civil War Talk, these three crops were referred to as the Three Sisters. I did not that but I love it. And the most common version of the butternut squash that we use today is the Waltham Butternut which was originally cultivated in the 1940’s in Waltham, MA which is where I was born. So again, in my preparation process I re-connect my my place of birth.
Technically the squash is considered a fruit, as it does have seeds. It is high in antioxidants, vitamin A, maganese and beta carotene. Oh…that amazing orange color. It's so real!. Enjoy this dish, I personally think its a wonderful replacement to the old way of stuffing a bird. Make the switch to a Plantsgiving Day this year.
PREPARE AND BRINE BUTTERNUT SQUASH
6 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp’s salt
1 TBS + 2 TBS Braggs organic 24 herbs and spices seasoning
1 onion cut into quarters
2 stalks of celery but into quarters
2 stalks of carrot cut into quarters
1. Peel butter nut squash. Using a fork, poke the squash about 8 times around its body.
2. Place all ingredients except 2 TBS of Braggs spice in deep bowl and brine in fridge over night.
COOK BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Heat oven to 400 D F
Select a roasting pan at least 2 inches deep and wide enough to fit your squash.
Remove squash from brine.
Roll squash in 2 TBS olive oil.
Generously sprinkle with additional 2 TBS Braggs organic spice mix.
Add 3 cups of brining liquid to pan.
Place squash in pan. Add your brining vegetables around the squash. Cover with foil. Place in oven.
Place in oven 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup more liquid at a time as it dries up.
Remove foil and roast and additional 30 minutes. Or until you can pierce squash easily with fork. Continue basting every 15 minutes.
This is the same walnut meaty crumble in my last blog, Orr
1 TBS vegan butter alternative
2 cups chopped cremona mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped crushed walnuts
1/4 cup fresh spinach finely chopped
1 TBS coconut amigos
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp onion powder
Heat butter alternative in pan, add remaining ingredients and cook until mushrooms are fully softened. About 8 minutes.
STUFF YOUR SQUASH
Carefully remove your squash from the oven and place on a cutting board.
Cut your squash into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Cut only the long neck part of your squash. Save your body, removing its seeds and use this for a squash soup, later on.
Lay your pieces flat on your cutting board and carefully scoop out a hole about half way deep into your squash round, being careful not to go all the way through. Use these pieces in your soup also. Stuff each round with stuffing. Pack it down so that each piece gets a large spoonful.
Now, place each stuffed round back into the oven, baste with the pan juices and bake for about 15 more minutes. Broil on low for the last 5 minutes.
Serve on a bed of fresh or sautéed spinach. Works wonderfully with a side of sautéed Brussel sprouts too.
I HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR OWN RITUAL PREPARATION
TO YOU BUTTERNUT SQUASH ROAST.