Oven Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese and Cashews

When the weather turns chillier, Fall cuisine, a fireplace, and a richer red wine are superb ways to warm the soul. This is an incredibly easy dish to prepare and would also go great on the Thanksgiving or Holiday table.

Serves 4

1 Butternut Squash – about 3lbs
1/3 cup unsalted raw cashews
1/2 of a very small red onion, thinly sliced in halves – about 1/3 cup at the most
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. While the oven is warming up, roast the cashews in a small nonstick fry pan on medium heat on the stove. Actively toss the cashews around in the pan so they don’t burn. Season with sea salt and once they’ve turned spotty dark brown, take off of the heat and set aside in a bowl. Once the oven is ready, place the entire squash on a heavy duty sheet pan and roast in the oven for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the squash. About halfway through cooking time, turn it over and continue roasting. The squash will be ready when it has some darker spots, becomes a bit wilted, and is soft when you gently squeeze it with a hot mitt. Remove from the oven and slice it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a spoon or fork. Allow the squash to cool a bit at room temperature. After the squash has cooled down, scoop out the squash pieces with a small cookie dough or ice cream scoop and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss with a spatula. 

Wine pairing:
Depending on what main dish this will accompany, the wine will be different. If you are pairing it alongside pork or red meat, a Nebbiolo, Barbaresco, red Burgundy, or a southern Rhône red blend will go wonderfully. If you are preparing a full vegetarian or even lighter chicken or fish dish, a Falanghina, Godello, or Cataratto would be terrific! 


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