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.
It was Cicero, who was born 106 BC, who 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 – also one of my favourites, “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)
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.