Salty Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash

miso-molasses-orange-butternut-squash

For those of you who, like me, have a salty sweet tooth, this is the perfect combination. The flavors of miso, molasses, and fresh orange juice contrast perfectly and make a fantastic glaze for roasted squash.

Peeling squash is kind of a pain. Butternut squash isn’t the worst though, and with a little technique it’s not too bad. I think I’ve talked about this before but here it is again. Boil it first in a pot of water for two minutes on each side, allow it to cool. Cut off the top and the bottom so that it can stand flat, and you can remove the rest of the skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut the “neck” off the “bulb” (technical terms), then slice both in half vertically. Scoop out the seeds, then go about chopping it into cubes.

Salty Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp miso
2 tbsp molasses
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
zest and juice of one large orange
cilantro to garnish

Preheat oven to 400°. Spread squash in a roasting pan. Whisk together miso, molasses, olive oil, orange zest and orange juice and toss together with squash (it will be liquidy at first, but as it roasts it will thicken into a glaze). Roast squash until soft, about 30 minutes, stirring/flipping a couple of times.

Pile in a bowl and garnish with cilantro.

Mulled Wine

mulled-wine

Mulled wine is lovely, warming, and festive. I first made it for a Christmas party my husband and I were having the year we moved in together. None of our friends were familiar so I described it as warm sangria. Feel free to spike it with rum or brandy, and if it’s for a party, I recommend doubling the recipe and floating a clove-studded orange for effect. I didn’t do either this time; I didn’t have any rum, and I made this for a regular old Friday night in December.

Mulled Wine

1 bottle cheap red wine
generous splash of juice (such as apple, apple cider, or orange. I used apricot nectar since I still had some in the fridge)
1 cinnamon stick
1 black cardamom
1 star anise pod
several each of: cardamom pods, allspice berries, cloves, black peppercorns
honey to taste
peel of one orange, tangerine, or clementine

Combine everything in a sauce pan, stirring to dissolve honey, and heat on low (don’t allow to boil!) for an hour and a half to two hours.

Note: if you don’t have all these spices, don’t despair! Use what you have, even a pinch of powdered spices.