The situation has turned hostile over at the New York Times Dining and Wine section. Writers have started wearing bullet proof vests to work every day. And carrying Uzis.

You heard it here first.

The time-old debate of turkey v. sides has reared it’s ugly head, threatening to tear apart families and friendships, leaving nothing but animosity and hostility in it’s wake. (Why can’t we all just get along?)

Here’s where you start shaking your head and saying, Joanne, what on EARTH are you talking about?

This week’s Food section in the Times featuerd two articles, one by Kim Severson, who is a lover of all things turkey, and the other by Julia Moskin, who would be happy to leave the bird behind just to make room for more side dishes on the table.

As the holiday season draws near, I am sure that we are all presented with the dilemma of how to allot space on the dining room table (as well as how to allot space within our stomachs). There is only so much room to go around and so inevitably, some dishes are going to have to be kicked to the proverbial curb. At the risk of alienating some of my readers, I must disclose that I, myself, am a side person (as if you couldn’t tell that from the abundance of squash and sweet potato dishes and the dearth of turkey recipes on the blog). Maybe it’s just because I’m not the biggest meat eater in the world (that’s a good idea, Joanne, try to diffuse the conflict by blaming it on your semi-vegetarian status – that won’t be controversial at all). Or maybe it’s because I like having diversity on my plate (that’s why I like BBQ restaurants so much – they usually give you a choice of two sides with your meal. Plus cornbread.).

It’s not that I don’t like turkey. I do. I just like it best the day after on a sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce with a side of candied sweet potatoes or butternut squash.

Is that really so wrong?

For those like-minded individuals out there, this Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake is an excellent side dish that features some of the season’s best flavors. The roasting really brings out the sweetness of the apples and cranberries. And, well, you all know how I feel about butternut squash.

This recipe will be the third in my 12 Weeks of Winter Squash feature. I know, I have had two in one week. But I was (and still am) behind if I want this to be on track for Christmas. So I’ve resorted to double fisting the squash recipes. Desperate times call for desperate measures, what can I say.

Rather than cook up some turkey, I ate this with a sunny side up egg on toast smothered with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter. (Which is heavenly, I must add.)
Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake
Serves 3 as an accompaniment to a lighter dinner or 8 as an accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner, adapted from Simply Recipes

2 lb (or more) butternut squash, diced
2 large apples, sliced (I left the skins on because I am lazy but feel free to peel both the squash and the apples)
1/2 cup cranberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup butter
1/2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Put squash cubes in a baking dish. Place apples on top and then cranberries. Mix the flour, salt, sugar, and nutmeg in a bowl. Sprinkle on top. Dot with butter. Bake 50-60 minutes or until squash is tender.

I am submitting this to Weekend Herb Blogging which is being hosted this week by Astrid of Paulchen’s Food Blog.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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37 Responses to 12 Weeks of Winter Squash – Butternut Apple Cranberry Bake

  1. SE(Denufood) says:

    the bake looks delicious..and you can count me in as a side person if there going to be turkey on the table !!

  2. Debbie says:

    It looks delicious. I’m not a big meat eater at all but my problem is I’ll save (lots) of room for desserts!!!

  3. Mari says:

    I prefer the sides (and dessert) over the turkey!

    yums that dish looks delish….you take some amazing pics of your creations

  4. Palidor says:

    This is a classic Wittgensteinian problem that is created by language. We have labeled certain dishes “mains” and others “sides.” If we eliminate those labels, then there’s no issue, right? That bake looks wonderful… so full of good stuff. I’d love to add a scoop of ice cream too!

  5. Jennie says:

    I am definitely a ‘side’ person! The more sides the better! I love your squash recipes! Keep em coming!

  6. I’m a sides person too! This combination of squash and sweet apples and cranberries looks terrific!

  7. Denise says:

    Honestly, all I have is YUM!

  8. Kim says:

    I’m probably more of a side person, but at the same time I don’t like it when people have ham for thanksgiving. I mean you can’t have ham for Thanksgiving, can you? That’s just not natural. I just love that you’re doing 12 weeks of winter squash – it makes me chuckle:D I love your butternut apple bake. It would be perfect for Thanksgiving with all the colors.

  9. Amy says:

    All those years I was a Vegetarian (well, really fishetarian), I got used to eating all the wonderful side dishes. And goodness knows, there’s always enough to keep someone full. But since eating meat again, I’m glad to call the turkey my friend. He smells so good and tastes so moist.

    And, well, as for dessert. There is always room for dessert.

    I would definitely make room for this butternut squash dish.

  10. Nat says:

    You did it again Joanne…this is awesome… I would love it as a SIDE !

  11. Mmm, apples and squash, I haven’t tried that one yet!

  12. Sophie says:

    Now, this is a fab dish for me!! I so love cranberries with all of the rest yummie flavours,…It screams: delicious!

  13. monicajane says:

    your world is a scary place. 🙂

    I’m a semi veg. too…though I love turkey more than is seemly for my semi-veg status.

    this dish looks so good…and frankly I think I’ll do this before I do the pumpkin bars…and I’m gonna give a call to my hubby now to get some cranberries while he’s out because it really looks good!!

  14. This would be an awesome side dish for Thanksgiving! I love the addition of cranberries!

  15. I like my holiday food just like you do! The sides are the best part of the meal! The turkey is much, much better on those stuffing and cranberry rolls the next day – ok, maybe still on Thanksgiving but 6 hours after dinner. Same goes with the desserts for me – I enjoy them much more in the days after! Sides rock! 🙂

  16. Oh and I love this recipe too by the way 🙂

  17. Catherine says:

    Wow Joanne! I’ve book-marked this recipe! Happy Blogging! 🙂

  18. Michelle says:

    OH MY WORD what a yummy combination! Apples, squash and cranberries are perfect together!

  19. Sophia says:

    Bullet-proof vests? Really? You’re kidding, right? Haha, sorry, I’m just so gullible…but you ARE kidding right?

    I don’t care for the turkey at all…bring on the sides!!

  20. Debinhawaii says:

    I am a stuffing and gravy person myself so I guess that means I am on the “sides” side. 😉 This looks delicious and so nice and colorful too.

  21. Barbara says:

    Super post, Joanne.
    I am usually so sick of looking at all the food I can’t put much in my mouth at Thanksgiving dinner. (That and worrying about the next course.) I end up eating everything the next day!

  22. SE(Denufood) says:

    hey joanne..i just stopped by after reading your comment on my blog about cooking indian dishes..hey you find some simple everyday recipes in my quick,simple,easy category. (obviously indian home cooking is not what is served in restaurants here!!)
    Have a great weekend!!

  23. teresa says:

    oh i love this! what a yummy looking side dish. i’m going to have to say that i like the side best. the turkey comes in after thanksgiving, when i want a killer sandwich!

  24. Elra says:

    Great combination of tanginess from the cranberry and a bit sweetness from the squash.

  25. Xiaolu says:

    I don’t eat turkey and thus often don’t have a real choice, but I think I’d be a sides-gal even if I did. I love the wonderful-sounding sweet, savory, and tart combination of this dish.

  26. girlichef says:

    Gotta love the sides! Course I love the whole darn shebang…but that just means more turkey for me if we were to eat together 😉 Looks super yummy to me!

  27. I’m with you – sides and leftover turkey sandwiches with stuffing on them yum! I love this squash and apple combo. I bet it’s a delicious combo. I wonder how it would be over some orzo or rice.

  28. I almost forget the baking sheet for the pizza is a 12×15 or 16.

  29. I love that you highlighted the sweeter side of butternut squash – delish!

  30. Marcia says:

    I’m with you…I’m all about the sides…

  31. I’m with you! Sides all the way!! What a great combination. I love the apple and squash together!

  32. Pam says:

    This looks like the perfect side! Even though, I am definitely a turkey person.

  33. gaga says:

    Yum, how tasty! I love the addition of apples and would have never thought of it myself.

  34. Donna-FFW says:

    I go both ways;) Lover of sides and turkey, must admit though, sides have an edge. Unles the gravy is super spectacular. Tough issue.

    Your side dish on the other hand sounds fabulous! All the flavors of the season.

  35. Kerstin says:

    Great idea to combine squash and apples! I’m also a sides girl myself!

  36. Simona says:

    There is always space on my table for another winter squash dish. Your recipe is also a nice way to use fresh cranberries.

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