Busy New Canaan mom, Eila Johnson, writes the full plate blog. The site, which was named to Forbes’ 2012 Top 100 Sites for Women, teaches busy parents how to make simple, nourishing recipes for their families and friends.
While she loves traditional stuffing and cranberries, Eila also enjoys bringing a new Thanksgiving side
to the table each year. She recently asked her readers what sort of side dish recipe they most-wanted to see. The responses ran the gamut from recreating one reader’s memory of her mother-in-law’s marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes that had orange juice in them…to another reader’s wish for a
sweet side that didn’t have lots of added sugar or dairy. And another reader said she wanted to make acorn squash, but lamented the lack of space in her oven Thanksgiving Day. So, Eila created this
simple, orange-infused recipe, which makes use of local delicata squash… that can be made on the stovetop. The side dish was a total hit with her young family, and will be included in this year’s family feast… plus, it was so simple and delicious that it will no doubt make appearances at normal Fall/Winter family dinners from time to time too!
Orange-Infused Delicata Squash with Pistachios
(makes 10-12 servings)
2 large delicata squash (about 1 lb. each)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3-4 shallots, halved and thinly sliced
zest of 1-2 large orange(s)
1 ½ cups fresh-squeezed orange juice
salt & pepper, to taste
¼ cup roasted, unsalted pistachios, rough chopped
A note on ingredients: with the exception of olive oil, salt and pepper, all ingredients are found in Walter Stewart’s produce department. I chose to purchase fresh-squeezed orange juice (also found in the produce department), but you could also purchase a few more oranges and juice them yourself, if you’d like. The pistachios are found in the tubs on the top shelf of the produce department. They come in several varieties, including raw, roasted and roasted/salted. I used roasted/unsalted in this recipe.
- Washed the squash well, as you will be leaving the skin on. Then, cut each squash in half lengthwise, and scoop the seeds out using a spoon. Slice each squash, about ¼” thick, crosswise.
- In a large skillet or fry pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until softened and beginning to turn golden brown (just a few minutes).
- Add the squash, orange juice, orange zest and salt and pepper to the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes until the squash is fork tender, stirring once halfway through. (Fork tender means you can pierce the squash with a regular fork, but before the squash gets too tender—you don’t want it getting mushy!)
- Uncover the pan and continue cooking the squash until all of the orange juice is absorbed, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking (about 10-15 minutes more).
- Sprinkle pistachios over the squash just before serving. Can be made in advance and warmed in the oven before serving, or served room temp.