Butternut squash with a walnut goat cheese crumble is an easy side dish for Thanksgiving

Mass Appeal

This tasty, colorful veggie side dish would be a quick addition for your Thanksgiving plans. The ingredients are simple but the flavors combine so nicely and it can be made in advance. Here with the recipe is author and cooking teacher Betty Rosbottom.

Butternut Squash with Walnut Goat Cheese Crumble 

The diced squash can be roasted several hours ahead so that at serving time all that is necessary is to arrange the cubes on a platter and sprinkle them with crumbled goat cheese, chopped walnuts, and minced parsley. If you buy peeled butternut squash it will shave a good amount of time off the prep.

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided    
3 pounds 8 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice to make 8 cups (see market note) 
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (see cooking tip)
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

1. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Brush a heavy, rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spread the cubed squash in a single layer on the baking sheet/tray. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over the squash, and toss to coat well. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. 

3. Roast the squash, stirring every 10 minutes, until it is tender when pierced with a knife and browned around the edges, about 35 minutes or longer. Remove and set aside. (The squash can be roasted 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, reheat in a 350 degree F oven until warm, about 10 to 15 minutes.)

4. Place the roasted squash cubes on a serving platter and sprinkle with walnuts, goat cheese, and parsley. 

Serves 6

Market note: Look for peeled butternut squash in the produce section of the supermarket. About 40 ounces of this peeled squash should yield 8 cups.

Cooking tip: To toast the walnuts, spread them on a rimmed baking sheet and place in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly browned and fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes. Watch carefully so that they do not burn. Remove and cool. 

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