I have as much love for winter veggies as I do winter fruits. As much as the summer tomato season makes me swoon, I love all of the variety in color of the winter squashes and leafy greens. I'm pretty sure I eat about 253426 pounds of kale through the fall and winter.
While I have crushes on these gorgeous winter veggies, they tend to end up being eaten the same way: roasted simply, pureed or made into soup. Finding ways to tweak out a basic recipe and put a new spin on it is always a good thing. This recipe (from the now defunct Gourmet - don't even get me started) has been in my bookmarks for, well, ever. I replaced the acorn squash with Carnival squash – any winter squash would work. I love heat and this was a great way to use a couple of the four million thai red chilis I have growing right now. This would be an easily adaptable recipe – use whatever kind of peppers (or level of oomph) you want, a little orange juice to replace the lime, a handful of fresh herbs you have growing. The tart heat and the caramelized taste and texture of the squash is fabulous - great on its own as a veggie main or a striking side dish to roasted meats.
Roasted Squash with Chili Vinaigrette – original recipe found here
– Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450F. Halve squash lengthwise, then cut off and discard stem ends. Scoop out seeds and cut squash lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges. Toss squash with black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl, then arrange, cut sides down, in 2 large shallow baking pans. Roast squash, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until squash is tender and undersides of wedges are golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.
– While squash roasts, mince garlic and mash to a paste with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer paste to a small bowl and whisk in lime juice, chile (to taste), cilantro, and remaining 1/4 cup oil until combined. Transfer squash, browned sides up, to a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.