It seems that Thanksgiving has taken a lot of people by surprise this year. Many people simply didn’t realize it was fast approaching. It all comes down to November 1 falling on a Thursday this year. That mean that the fourth Thursday in November would be November 22, which is not the last Thursday in November. That’s right people. Thanksgiving is not on the last Thursday of November. You can be forgiven for thinking so, as it nearly 100% of the time that’s the case. But not this year. Hence, the surprise.
But no worries. Thanksgiving hasn’t fallen off our radar. But we are focusing heavily on one ingredient: pumpkin, or squash. It is, of course, the quintessential Thanksgiving ingredient, but did you know there was a Jewish connection? The Nosher informed us of the pumpkin’s Jewish fans and we were inspired. In the past we’ve made a roasted butternut squash and chestnut side, which we still highly recommend, but this year we’re trying something new: Roasted squash with shallots, grapes and sage. Courtesy of Martha Stewart, this is a light yet substantial side and roasted grapes, if you haven’t yet tried them, make any autumnal plate of food next level. The purpleish skin punctures to reveal a warm accompaniment adding just the right balance of sweet and tart. They’re also great to serve with your Friday night roasted chicken.
The other squash recipe we were considering, one for Delicata squash with quinoa, came courtesy of Food & Wine and seems an ideal side dish for those with vegetarians to host. It sounds wonderfully refreshing and flavorsome, so we’ve already added it to our list for next year. If you try it, let us know!
Roasted Squash with Shallots, Grapes, and Sage
- 2 acorn squash, about 1.5 lbs. each
- 2 TB plus 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. mixed black and red grapes (about 3 cups)
- 2-3 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 2 TB packed small fresh sage leaves
- 1 1/3 C cooked spelt, wheat berries, barley or other whole grain
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds.
Brush cut sides of squash halves with 1 teaspoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Place, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Combine grapes, shallot, and sage in a bowl and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper; place around squash.
Roast, stirring grape mixture once, until squash is tender and grape mixture is caramelized, 35 to 40 minutes. To serve, fill squash with grain and grape mixture.