Sunday, January 23, 2011

Seasonal Sunday--Roasted Squash & Onion with Herbed Croutons

isn't this a cute little guy?
Mon Mari is away on business in one of the contiguous United States and I'm alone with les trois enfants so I didn't really plan this one. Today's recipe is one of those that just happened. To be honest most of my daily cooking is like this...I get an idea and then stand in the kitchen pondering what to do, what to add and mostly what not to add as I tend to get carried away. Our little village market is just across the street so I walked over this morning and had a look for inspiration. Et voila! There was a basket of burnt orange squash that I thought would be great with some day old baguette I'd planned to turn into croutons. After some restraint and pruning it's ready to share with you.

Roasted Squash & Onions with Herbed Croutons

1-2 small squash, at home you could use acorn
1 small yellow onion
olive oil
day old baguette cut into chunky croutons
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of grated Parmesan or Gruyere

Pre-heat oven to 400 F/220C.

scooped and drizzled, ready for roasting
Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Cut onion in half, never mind about the peel. Place hollowed out squash and onion halves on a roasting tray and drizzle over with olive oil.
Place in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until the flesh of the squash can be easily scooped free of the skin and the onion is meltingly soft.
Smush, yes smush is the technical term used here, together the peeled squash and onion adding salt and pepper for seasoning and put mixture in an ovenproof gratin dish. Feel free to make this more decadent and add in some cream at this point.You can make ahead to this point because you're going to warm in the oven before serving.

Meanwhile, make the croutons. This is so easy and much better than buying them pre-packaged because you control the salt and there are no preservatives.
Cut old baguette into big chunks, sprinkle with the smallest amount of olive oil and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper.
I love thyme so use it often but you can use any herb you like. Herbes de Provence would be nice here too. I've even been known to sprinkle on dried lavender for a different type of crouton all together. Be creative and use what you like.
i'm going to be a crouton
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan and be sure to get it quite warm so the bread doesn't sit in cold oil. When it's warm, throw in the seasoned bread and shake pan until browned and coated evenly, 2-3 minutes watching all the while. I burned some on Friday night because I was distracted.
When done you can store these in an airtight container and use on anything you like. But here you're going to scatter them over the squash and onion mixture and top with grated cheese. When seasoning remember that you're adding the cheese so don't be heavy handed with the salt.
When you're ready, put it in a warm oven 325F/180C for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve with roast pork or chicken and a big, green salad.
ready for warming

1 comment:

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