caramelized pears, squash, and red onions

October 11, 2013

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. For the record – I’d like to say I’m thankful and that I really love Thanksgiving. I like that it’s food and family and gratitude focussed and not commercial. And I think that gratitude is a very civilized thing.

Cicero, born 106 BC, said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” He also said a lot of other wonderful things such as, “Time heals all wounds,” and, “Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself,” and this, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

I love that the most essential knowledge has never really changed and that all we really need to know, we knew over a thousand years ago.

Every Thanksgiving, I actually try to harvest something from the garden which is always getting to the dreg ends by this point. This year, I’m using pears from my pear tree, which for the first time ever produced a bumper crop, unlike the tomatoes.

This dish is so easy you really don’t need a recipe but the flavour combination is perfect and so, I think, recipe worthy. Simple and sweet.

I used butternut squash which caramelizes beautifully. The pear is surprisingly tasty – as though roasting it condenses the normally quite mild flavour of pears. I’m doing this for Thanksgiving and will offset the sweetness of the dish by serving it alongside something like brussel sprouts or green beans sautéed with preserved lemon. And yes, of course, turkey and gravy, onion and sage sourdough stuffing, and fresh cranberry relish. And homemade pumpkin pie with loads of whipped cream. Ice wine to finish. Canadian ice wine. To celebrate the grape harvest of course!

Salut! And happy Canadian Thanksgiving.

Caramelized pear, butternut squash, and red onions

2 pears, washed and quartered, skin on, cores removed
1/2 fair size butternut squash – peeled and cut into smallish chunks – you need a couple of cups worth
1 large red onion, cut into eighths
1 tablespoon (or more – I like lots) olive oil (or grapeseed or avocado oil…)
1 tsp sea salt (I used rosemary sea salt)
black pepper

I microwaved the butternut squash in a Pyrex dish for about 3 minutes to speed up the cooking process but if you do this – don’t be tempted to cook the squash for too long – you don’t want it soggy.

Toss the squash, pears, and onion in olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread on a baking sheet brushed with oil and baked at 425 deg F until the onions and squash are browned – about 30 minutes or slightly longer. It will take 45 minutes if you haven’t partially pre-cooked the squash – so depending on the ripeness of your pears – you might want to add them 15 minutes after starting.

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  • Reply mary October 11, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Simply beautiful!

  • Reply Jennifer Smeltzer October 11, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Well, I think I just found my side dish for my holiday feast this weekend!! Thanks Lindy! You are the best!!!
    Hi to darling Lola for me!

  • Reply Ada ~ More Food, Please October 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    This looks delicious! A perfect dish for the holidays! It wil be great for when I make a multi-course dinner because it’s fairly simple. Thanks for sharing 😀

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 11, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      So nice of you to comment – thank you. It IS so simple – you’re right! Simple is my mantra. 😉

  • Reply My Little Home and Garden October 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    I would not have thought of roasting the pears along with the vegetables. This sounds delicious. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 12, 2013 at 11:32 am

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too – what a beautiful weekend we are having! I might not have thought of roasting pears either but I have a steady supply of firm green pears to use up. Necessity is still the mother of invention!

  • Reply tinywhitecottage October 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    I’ll have to copy you on this on for sure. Roasted pears with butternut squash and red onions….sounds so wonderful Lindy. Wish I had it in the oven now. Happy Thanksgiving. Your menu sounds wonderful. And your Cicero quotes are very timely. 🙂

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 12, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Don’t you love Cicero? The quotes are timely for me too!
      Thank you for the Thanksgiving wishes – it’s the most beautiful weekend here – sunshine and blue blue skies and the trees are all turning… so lovely. I hope you’re seeing the sun in Seattle too. 😉

  • Reply Johnnysenough Hepburn October 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Have to admit I would never have thought of roasting pears with veg. Of course the flavours would go. Lovely with melted Brie and thyme leaves. I’m trying to grab some interesting veg combinations for a savoury crumble/crisp, and I think your post might just be the inspiration!

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 12, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Thanks Johnny – and yes – yum – melted Brie and thyme would be perfect with this. I saw on one of your recent posts that the weather has turned in England. All the better for baking. Right?!

  • Reply Crafty Gardener October 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too. I just posted a similar recipe on my site. The veggies are so delicious at this time of year.

  • Reply apuginthekitchen October 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving and what a lovely and delicious assortment of roasted vegetables and fruit. Was it easier to peel the butternut after microwaving? I love them but they are so hard to peel and cut.

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 12, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      Suzanne – I actually peeled and cubed the squash before I microwaved it. I find the easiest way to do it is to cut through the squash making disks of it – perhaps about 2 inches high. Then with the disk of squash flat side down – I take a sharp knife and cut the peel off – rotating the piece of squash as I go. It’s a bit wasteful but at least it is not dangerous!!
      Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to you too – and we can all celebrate again next month when it is American Thanksgiving. 😉

  • Reply Dave More October 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    and a beautiful photo as well. Just returned from seeing Ms Bullock in Gravity. Quite the stunning film. She’s pretty thankful, too!

    cheers, Dave

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      Thankful for this Dave!
      Sandra Bullock is thankful? Or is that you are thankful for Sandra Bullock??! 😉

  • Reply The Tablescaper October 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    I host a weekly link party called “Seasonal Sundays”. It’s about all things seasonal and I’d love to have you link. The link goes up Saturday evenings at 7 pm EST.

    – The Tablescaper

  • Reply Maria Dernikos October 23, 2013 at 6:11 am

    The colours look wonderful. I hadn’t thought of using pear but it just looks like its meant to be. Will be giving this a go.

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      The pears on my pear tree are tough little numbers. They’ve never really ripened up. But they are great for cooking and ever so tasty. Find yourself some good firm pears if you make this dish. 😉

  • Reply Tonette Joyce November 2, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Lindy, easy but lovely! If part of the clan descends on me again for our Thanksgiving down our way,I know what will be in the offerings!
    I hope you had a great holiday.(I am sooo backed-up here, sorting through all the notices and picking out ones I really want to see;I know some have fallen through the cracks!)

  • Reply Week in Review: Housekeeping, Dewars, and Healthy Recipes | Green Door Hospitality January 24, 2014 at 9:03 am

    […] Caramelized Pear, Butternut Squash and Red Onion from A Taste of Wintergreen […]

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