5 (1)

Sides, Vegetarian

Spiced winter squash

Spiced winter squash
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Just because the holidays are over doesn't mean you've given up baking or that you've stopped craving nutmeg. Probably quite the opposite: You're having gingerbread dreams, even if they’re hampered by your New Year's diet. So take advantage of the ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 4
  • 1 cup sliced shallots, from about 4 large shallots
  • 1/4 cup sliced ginger
  • 1/4 cup garlic cloves
  • 2 whole nutmegs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or peanut oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons sambal oelek
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons natural style creamy peanut butter
  • 3 whole, fresh Thai lime leaves, plus finely slivered leaves used for garnish
  • 1 (4-inch piece) cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, more if desired
  • 2 pounds squash, preferably delicata or butternut
  • Steamed black, brown or white rice, optional
  • Chopped fresh cilantro

Step 1In the bowl of a food processor, combine the shallots, ginger and garlic and pulse until very finely chopped.

Step 2Using the side of a large chef’s knife or a small mallet, break each nutmeg into about 2 or 3 pieces.

Step 3In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot mixture and cook until the shallots begin to turn golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the sambal oelek, cumin and turmeric and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Mix in the coconut milk, broth, peanut butter, whole lime leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, salt and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently to meld the flavors, about 10 minutes.

Step 4Meanwhile, trim, seed and quarter the squash lengthwise. Cut squash quarters crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Add the squash to the saucepan and simmer, partially covered. Cook the squash, gently stirring occasionally, until it is tender yet retains shape and the sauce thickens slightly, 20 to 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Remove the cloves, nutmeg pieces and lime leaves before serving. (Can be prepared 5 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Step 5Serve the squash over rice if desired. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime leaf slivers and serve.


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