Warm Winter Slaw

This recipe came to me as one of those happy accidents.  During the middle of a catering job for 50 people, I popped what was meant to be a lightly cooked cabbage and squash slaw with flecks of both strewn throughout, into the oven.  A few guests arriving, a few mini-catering emergencies later and this dish morphed into something even better.  The cabbage had held together nicely, but the squash, much to my inner dismay, had become mush.  However, one taste in and I realized that the mush had become caramelized on the edges and combined with the tooth of the cabbage worked really well.  And onto the platter it went.  When I served it, I was able to move it from pan to platter without mixing the squash in all that much.  However, because the cabbage isn’t all that lovely without some of the orange squash showing through, I disturbed it a little once it was in the platter to have the color show though.

This recipe ran in the Portland Press Herald recently with a typo on the oven temp, so I post it here for those who had questions about it.shredding squash for warm winter slaw recipe

Winter Slaw
My girls will eat this dish as if it’s candy rather than squash and cabbage – the sugars of both caramelize and turn simple vegetables into something akin to an addictive confection.

finished dish of warm winter slaw with squash and cabbage
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound peeled, seeded and grated butternut squash, about 4 cups or 1/2 of a medium-sized squash
1 1/2 pounds sliced green cabbage, about 4 cups or 1/2 head of cabbage
3/4 teaspoon salt (sprinkle half over squash and half over cabbage)
several grinds of black pepper
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Heat a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil.

butternut squash on the stove top

Add the squash, sprinkle with half of the salt and sauté until heated through.  It will stick to the pan, but don’t worry, it will loosen up at the end.

cooking butternut sqaush and cabbage together

Add the cabbage, sprinkle with the other half of the salt and all of the black pepper.  Break the butter into smaller pieces and dot the top of the cabbage.

Transfer to the oven and cook for 35 to 45 minutes or until the cabbage is cooked through, but still a little firm.  If you can, slide the whole mess out of the pan at once.  Slightly mix the squash into the cabbage and serve immediately.

Serves 6-8

Using up garden veggies

Cook the Book – Three Sausage and Butternut Squash Sauce

I created this recipe for Curtis Custom Meats in Union, Maine several years ago.  We used to buy all of our meat from them, pre-the enormous freezer full of cuts of whole pig and cow from Terra Optima in Appleton.

This recipe makes a large pot of sauce – good for a big family dinner before or after Thanksgiving Day.  It also freezes well if you’ve a smaller group.  When I first created it, I thought I should cut it down to make it serve 4-6 people, but then all of the sausage comes in one pound pacakages.  So either you have all of these 1/2 pound bits of sausage, not to mention the 1/2 a butternut squash, or you’ve got your self a lot of sauce.  I went for the ‘lotta sauce’ knowing that everyone could use a dish that freezes well and cooks up in minutes for those crazy days when it’s either whatever you find in the freezer or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner.

Three Sausage and Butternut Squash Sauce

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound hot sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
1 pound sweet sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
1 pound garlic sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
3 large onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons fresh basil, or 2 tablespoons dried
3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 cup red wine
6 cups peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes (or 2 16-ounce cans diced tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 500°.  Toss the squash with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 45 minutes or until the squash is cooked through (but not falling apart).  Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the sausages and sauté until they are lightly browned.  Add the onions, garlic, and seasonings and continue to cook until the onions are translucent.  Add the wine, tomatoes and salt; reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Add the squash and serve over your favorite pasta and garnish with the ricotta cheese and parsley.

Serves 12-16

Looking forward to a big family dinner

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