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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Easy and Elegant

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
This morning I cleaned out the refrigerator.  It was my usual weekly clean out and there wasn't anything unidentifiable in there so everything was good.  In fact, not only did I come away from my refrigerator explorations with a couple of leftover items from last week's shopping trip, I came away with an idea or two.

Into the oven...
The finished product.
Now mind you, there is no need to call James Beard and tell him to reconsider this year's James Beard Award winners.  Nonetheless, I am always in favor to using up what's in the refrigerator so let's just chalk these couple of recipes (if you can call them that because they're foolishly simple and really require no recipe) to dumb luck.

The first is roasted butternut squash.  Yes, we have all made roasted butternut squash zillions of times but this time I added cranberries and a couple of tart apples.  I topped it off with some toasted pecans and  autumn seasonings.

The second recipe is as simple as the first.  Roasted brussels sprouts are one of Kate's favorites.   A recipe is hardly required.  All you need to do is toss the brussels sprouts with olive oil.  Season liberally with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 35 -40 minutes at 400.

The nice thing about both os these recipes is that they're perfect for this time of year.  They're festive enough to serve for Thanksgiving and easy enough to serve to your family with dinner tonight.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Apples, Cranberries, and Pecans


1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, cubed
2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped


Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl, toss the squash, apples, and cranberries with the olive oil, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  When well combined, pour onto a large baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until soft.

In the meantime, in a small skillet, toast the pecans over medium heat until lightly browned, about 6 minutes.  Set aside.

To serve, toss the squash mixture with the pecans and adjust the seasonings.

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