Thursday, November 20, 2014

roasted butternut squash+brussel sprouts with pancetta, sage & maple balsamic dressing


This dish is one of those dishes that just SCREAMS fall. I walked into Conolios in search for inspiration, and came across a Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar and a Butternut Squash seed oil, and knew I wanted to use roasted butternut squash. I paired it with roasted brussel sprouts, salty+crunchy pancetta, and aromatic sage. This would be a great veggie dish for thanksgiving, paired with a simple chicken breast for a meal, or just as a healthy snack. 

You could easily sub any other nut/seed oil (like pumpkin seed!), and add a tablespoon of maple syrup to a regular high quality balsamic while reducing it. You will have leftover dressing. Save it for a salad, or just eat it by the spoonful (guilty). I recommend drizzling it over before you serve it, your turkey day guests will be impressed!

And yes, I use balsamic in every way I can. One of my best ladies dubbed me "balsamic drizzling queen". 

 roasted butternut squash + brussels with pancetta, sage, & maple balsamic dressing
3cups diced butternut squash (I got a big bag of precut at Trader Joe's)
2-3 cups brussel sprouts cut in half (or thirds for larger sprouts), excess leaves set aside
4oz finely diced pancetta (I found mine pre-diced at Trader Joe's)
1/3 cup maple balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons butternut squash seed oil
2 large sage leaves, torn in small bits
neutral cooking oil for shallow frying (canola, vegetable, etc)

Preheat oven to 375°f. While oven preheats, cook your pancetta on medium heat until browned and crispy. Place on a paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil.  Prepare two baking sheets or roasting pans with foil. Place squash on one, brussels on the other, spreading out so there's just a single layer (vs. piled on top of each other). Season both with salt and pepper, and roast for 20-30 minutes. Until brussels are lightly caramelized and butternut squash is tender and cooked. While veggies cook, cook your brussel sprout leaves. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat with a couple tablespoons of neutral cooking oil. Cook until brown and crispy in two or three batches as needed, place crispy leaves on a paper towel lined plate to soak excess oil. Next, make your dressing. In a small bowl, add your squash oil. Heat a small saucepan with the balsamic over medium heat, until reduced by about half, and it coats the back of a spoon (this happens quick! Don't let it go too long or it'll turn into balsamic caramel!). Pour hot vinegar reduction over oil, and stir to combine. add a pinch of salt and pepper. Time to plate! Mix sprouts and squash on your serving platter. Mix in crispy brussel leaves, sprinkle over pancetta&sage, and drizzle over as much dressing as your heart desires. 

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