I love the simplicity of three to four ingredient recipes, especially when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts as in this case. The slightly sweet, nutty flavor of butternut squash pairs perfectly with the mild flavor of crumbled ricotta cheese, the texture of salted toasted pumpkin seeds, and the sweetness of the balsamic glaze (which is used sparingly).
Butternut Squash with Ricotta, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Balsamic Glaze makes a perfect side dish for lamb, steak or poultry and can easily be served for a simple weekend lunch. And this recipe is super easy and fast. You may of course make your own balsamic glaze but I found Fini Modena's Reduction of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is really tasty and if you find the product in a squeezable bottle it allows you to squeeze a perfect line of glaze onto your plate.
Butternut Squash with Ricotta, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Balsamic Glaze
- 1 lb butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubed (I use the pre-cut packages found in supermarkets)
- olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese, crumbled
- 1 jar of Glazed Balsamic Vinegar (squeezable jar)
- 1/8 cup of pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon of olive or coconut oil
- a dash of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil (about 2 tbsp) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until squash is well coated with oil. Spread into a single layer and bake for 25 -30 minutes until squash begins to brown and is tender. Shake the baking sheet from time to time to prevent the squash from sticking to the pan.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, add pumpkin seeds, olive or coconut oil and a dash of sea salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes until seeds begin to slightly brown, shaking the skillet so seeds do not burn.
- Plating the dish: Place a line of Balsamic Glaze on your plate, this is your time to be creative (try a zig-zag, a circle, a square). You can easily do this with a squeezable bottle or use a spoon or knife coated with the glaze and design away. Keep the line a thin as possible.
- Place the butternut squash on the plate, sprinkle with crumbled ricotta cheese and top with pumpkin seeds.