Roasted Butternut Squash Filled with Port-Soaked Fruit
- Servings: 6
You've never had butternut squash served this way. An oven bag contains the butternut squash halves as they roast in the oven. Meanwhile, the dried fruit cooks in a port wine-vinegar-sugar mixture, soaking up all the port sweetness for a squash topper. When assembled, they're both served with toasted baguette slices, aged white cheddar and crunchy almonds for a complex combination of flavors. After the meal, pick up the cooled oven bag and toss.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 1-1/2 pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups port wine or pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
- 1/2 cup salted whole almonds, chopped
- Aged white cheddar cheese or Gruyere cheese, shaved
- Toasted baguette slices
- Disposable oven bags
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place disposable oven bag in a roasting pan according to package directions, shaking at least a tablespoon of flour in the bag. Cut six 1/2-inch slits in top of bag.
Rub squash halves with oil then sprinkle cut side with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place squash, cut side down, in prepared oven bag; close bag. Roast until easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 33 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a platter, cut side up.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine the port wine, vinegar, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to boiling over medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, 4 minutes. Add the apricots and cherries. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Remove fruit from saucepan with a slotted spoon; set aside. Return saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat. Bring port mixture to boiling; cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and reduced to about 1/2 cup; about 14 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the fruit mixture and nuts. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.
Spoon fruit mixture into squash. Place any remaining mixture in a serving bowl.
To serve, place shaved cheese on baguette slices. Spoon on squash and fruit mixture. Makes 6 servings.
Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. http://www.meredith.com. All rights reserved.
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