Rustic Roasted Butternut Squash & Red Onion Wedges with Whipped Ricotta and Sage-Pecan Topping is an easy, yet elegant side perfect for the holidays! Simple to make, yet jam packed with flavor, this side is sure to please!So Christmas is right around the corner… you still feeling jolly? Do you still have that Ole’ St. Nick spring in your step? Is Christmas music playing on a loop in that organized, jovial mind of yours? Do you have your Menu for the big day scientifically prepped and planned out?
No? Oh, then you are like me! One of the dogs is proudly prancing around with the bows she just ate off the wrapped presents. The fresh rosemary and thyme for my Rib Roast mysteriously went missing. The garland I spent 30 minutes delicately wrapping around the banisters has a blinking light out.
This side dish is satisfyingly simple. The butternut squash is slightly sweet, savory and hearty, which pairs wonderfully with the deep, pungent flavor of the red onion. The sage-pecan breadcrumb topping adds earthy flavor, while slightly enhancing the sweetness of the squash. The light, creamy, subtle sweetness of the whipped ricotta really adds that final delicious touch to this dish.
My father-in-law is a big man, I mean 6’5’’ type of big. And, we all have that relative who simply takes larger portions of everything (I won’t name names). Therefore, I went rustic style with this side, creating large wedges of both vegetables.
- A) Peel it off before cutting it into wedges
- B) Leave it on, and allow your guest to decide if they want to eat it or not
This side dish is vibrant, delectable, and perfect for your holiday table. I hope you give this a try, but most of all I hope you have a wonderful Holiday filled with lots of joy, laughter, love, and of course great food. Cheers!
Rustic Roasted Butternut Squash & Red Onion Wedges with Whipped Ricotta and Sage-Pecan Topping is an easy, yet elegant side perfect for the holidays! Simple to make, yet jam packed with flavor, this side is sure to please!
- 3 1/2 Pounds Butternut Squash (about 1 large or 2 medium sized)
- 3 TBS unsalted Butter , melted
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- 2 Red Onions
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Pepper
- 1 Clove Garlic - minced
- 2/3 Cup Fresh Breadcrumbs (can substitute Panko)
- ¼ Cup Parmesan - grated
- 1/3 Cup Pecans – finely chopped
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Pepper
- 1 TBS Fresh Sage Leaves – finely chopped
- Whipped Ricotta:
- 1 ½ Cups Ricotta Cheese
- 3 Cloves Roasted Garlic (can substitute 2 cloves of unroasted garlic)
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Pepper
- Crispy Sage Leaves (optional):
- 1 TBS Butter
- 8-10 Fresh Sage Leaves , left whole
- Garnishes (optional): Shaved parmesan, Chopped Pecans
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place the oven rack in the middle position.
- Slice the squash in half, crosswise and then slice each half in half crosswise, root to tip. Remove the seeds from the squash and discard. Cut into wedges, 1 ½’’ -2’’ thick, and place in a roasting pan or baking dish.
- Remove the stem from the red onion and cut in half, through the root. Carefully trim the stringy roots from the onion, leaving the root intact. Peel the onion and cut into thick wedges. Place wedges in the pan with the squash.
- In a small bowl combine the butter, lemon juice, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour the butter mixture over the squash and onions. Gently toss together.
- Mix: In a small bowl combine together all ingredients for the topping. Set aside.
- Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, gently toss, and arrange the squash so the skin side of the butternut squash is down, touching the baking dish. Top with the breadcrumb mixture. Return to oven and bake until tender and a knife can easily be inserted, about 20-30 additional minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the whipped ricotta: Add the garlic, ricotta, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Process until whipped and airy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Set aside.
- Make the crispy sage leaves: Melt butter in saucepan. Add the sage leaves and cook, quickly, until till crisp, about 1 minute per side. Remove crispy sage leaves to a paper towel
- To serve: Assemble the wedges on a platter (optional), or serve in the baking dish, drizzle with whipped ricotta, top with freshly shaved parmesan and crispy sage leaves.
*You can peel the butternut squash skin if desired, the cooking time will remain the same.
* I cut my red onion halves into thirds, to match the thickness of the squash wedges.
*If you do not own a food processor, you can make the whipped ricotta in a blender.