Cubes of butternut squash braised in apple cider and one simple spice make a very fine side dish. It’s an easy enough side to accompany roast chicken on a weeknight or weekend. And with so much flavor and minmal oven time, this variation of squash can easily earn a place on your holiday table as well.
Instead of potatoes or rice, why not try butternut squash as a side dish? That’s what I opted for this week. And instead of braising the squash in the oven, which takes a long time, I went for the faster way–the stove top, before finishing it in the oven for a short time.
I am sharing this recipe right away because it’s too good to keep to myself. When serving it next time, I may add some cranberries and pecans for visual effect, but the simplicity of the three main ingredients is captivating enough. Are you wondering what the third ingredient is? It is not cinnamon. Cardamom adds optimal character to the dish because it’s neither sweet nor tangy. The squash and cider have those angles covered already. You could substitute another favorite autumn spice or spice blend if you prefer, but I loved this dish with just cardamom.
Butternut Squash with Spiced Cider
- 1 small or 1/2 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 to 2 cups apple cider (preservative free, preferably)
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or butter
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- sea salt, to taste
- Place butternut squash cubes in a large sauce pan or skillet with a lid. Pour in apple cider until it is about 1 cm (1/2 inch deep). Sprinkle with cardamom. With the lid off, bring the cider to a boil over medium high heat. Place lid onto pan and reduce heat to let the squash simmer until tender, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more cider or water if needed to keep the braising going. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
- Once squash is fork-tender, remove lid and led remaining liquid reduce. Add oil or butter and stir gently to coat. Transfer cooked squash to an oven-safe serving dish. Optional: broil on low for about 5 minutes until top of squash is slightly brown and caramelized. Serve warm.
This week I am sharing my recipe with friends at Fiesta Friday. Join us if you love amazing food!