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.