April finds many tables filled with deviled eggs, honey-glazed carrots, lamb shanks, and brisket, but for the non-holiday dinners, why not try a palate cleanser that’s on the light side? Butternut squash steaks take advantage of a bold mix of spices but in the context of a meal that’s fully vegetarian. Slices of sturdy butternut squash are a fun swap in for traditional beef steak that are marinated, roasted, seared, and topped with pistachios for a vitamin C- and nutrient-rich entree. Bonus points: whether giving up meat for Lent or eating kosher, this sweet and savory dish is a great choice.
• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp for pan searing
• 2 tsp sugar or substitute
• 2 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• ½ tsp coriander
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp table salt
• ½ tsp ground turmeric
• 1 large butternut squash (or 2 if you choose to
serve 2 steaks per plate to feed 4)
• ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
• 2 Tbsp basil, chopped
• ½ cup plain Greek yogurt with lime juice
• 2 cups cooked grain or pasta of choice
1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Mix together the olive oil, sugar, cumin, garlic powder, salt, coriander, cinnamon, and turmeric. Set aside.
2. Carefully cut the bulb of the squash off, right at the base of the neck. The neck will give you rectangular-shaped steaks, which is what we want. You also have the option to cut the squash into medallions, which will be circular.
3. Use a peeler to remove skin, as well as any underlying fibrous threads just below the surface. Typically you want to go over it twice to achieve this.
4. Carefully cut the neck of the squash in half lengthwise, right down the middle. Then, cut each section in half lengthwise so you are left with 4 ¾-inch steaks. Place the steaks on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and brush evenly on both sides with the spice mixture.
5. Roast the steaks until almost tender, for 18-20 minutes. Once they are done roasting, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, use tongs to place the squash steaks into the pan. Sear on each side for about 3 minutes, until they start to crisp up.
6. Serve roasted butternut squash steaks over the grain or pasta of choice (I used couscous), and top with yogurt, chopped pistachios, and fresh basil. I recommend squeezing some lime juice into the yogurt, as lime complements the dish well. Enjoy!
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