Sunday, November 29, 2009

Glazed Butternut Squash with Brown Rice and Feta

I just love roasted butternut squash. When the weather turns cooler, I eat it at least twice per week. It's so simple and delicious: cube it, toss with olive oil and salt and pepper, and roast it for about 45 minutes. The result is a deep, sweet squash flavour that makes the perfect side dish.

However, what to do when you want to eat squash, but the oven is busy cooking your main dish? Recently, I decided to find a way to make killer stove-top squash. I'm not a huge fan of boiled and mashed squash, so I went with a sauté. When I roast squash I leave the skin on and it becomes edible, but since sautéing is a gentler method, I decided to peel it before seeding and cubing it.

I sautéed the squash pieces in a few tablespoons of butter, with salt and pepper, stirring occasionally until they were cooked through.

After about 15 minutes or so, I was eager to taste it. The result Kind of boring. I missed the punch of flavour that I'm used to after roasting. I didn't want to settle, so I did a quick search to get some inspiration; as always, Martha Stewart to the rescue!

Inspired by Martha's website, I added chicken broth and water to the pan, and replaced her brown sugar with (what else?) maple syrup. After a few minutes, the liquid boiled away, and the squash was nicely glazed. (As you can see, I ran out of natural light at this point. Damn shorter days!)

Phenomenal! I cannot tell you how well the salty-sweet combination of broth and maple works. The best part was that it really brought out the flavour of the squash, just like roasting does.

Now, it's a fantastic side dish on its own. You really don't need to do anything more to it. However, just to try something different, I decided to take the salty-sweet idea to the next level, and combined the glazed squash with some brown rice and feta cheese. I just mixed everything up in the pan on low heat, and put the lid on for a few minutes to slightly melt the cheese.

Yum!! It looked and smelled so good, that even Bullet the puppy couldn't resist trying to get a glimpse of the leftovers.

Serve this with a simple main, because it will steal the show. I think this is substantial enough for a vegetarian main dish (made with vegetable broth, of course), perhaps with some sauteed spinach thrown in for a green. I just love this combination, and I think it will show up in my dinner rotation as often as roasted squash.

Try making glazed butternut squash with brown rice and feta tonight. Trust this squash lover when she says your tastebuds will thank you.

Glazed Butternut Squash with Brown Rice and Feta: The Recipe

I followed this recipe from Martha Stewart, except I used maple syrup instead of brown sugar.

Once squash is glazed, set heat to low and add 2 cups cooked brown rice and a few handfuls of cubed feta cheese to the pan. Stir to distribute, then cover for 5 minutes until cheese is slightly melted.



  1. Oh man! I am just about to make my meal plan for the week and I will definitely be adding this!

    I'll take Bullet, too, please. ADORABLE!

  2. Great!! Let me know how you like it, Kris.

    Please adopt him during dinner hour! If there's anything tasty on the table, that's all we see during the whole meal.

  3. You may just convert me to a squash lover after all!

  4. Woohoo, Mortie! One person at a time is my goal! :)