Last week on our road trip through northern New Mexico, we bought two baskets of apples, one being Winesap and the other cameo. Winesap apples are crisp and tart with a touch of sweetness. Cameos are crisp, juicy, and sweet. With this recipe I discovered that the tartness of the Winesap was a perfect complement to the sweetness of roasted butternut squash. Add a little sage and you have the perfect fall dish. But wait, there’s more! Let’s throw in some of my favorite cheese to eat with apples: Manchego – “a cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the Manchega breed” (Wikipedia). Now the dish is complete and what a delicious dish it is!
Before going to the recipe I would like to send my sincere thoughts to all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy and the resulting weather, and hope for a speedy recovery. Thanks to all of the first responders and those who risked their own lives to help others.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples with Manchego Cheese Recipe
Prep and Cook time: 1 hour (15 minutes prep)
Recipe author: MJ of MJ’s Kitchen
1 small butternut squash, cut into ½” cubes (about 4 cups)
2 large Winesap apples, cut into ½” cubes (2 to 3 cups)*
2 Tbsp. walnut oil
1 ½ tsp. dried Sage, crumbled (or 1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped)
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup grated Manchego cheese*
*See Kitchen Notes
- Preheat oven to 400° F .
- Mixed together all ingredients except the cheese.
- Spread out in a roasting or casserole dish.
- Roast in oven for 20 minutes. Remove and give it a stir. Return to oven and roast an additional 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the cheese. Carefully, stir in the cheese.
The first time I made this I sliced the squash and the apples, tossed with oil and sage, then layered them with slices of cheese. The flavor was amazing, but the texture of the cheese was dry and tough. Then next day I reheated the leftovers, covered, in the microwave and the cheese melted very nicely. That gave me the answer to the problem. Instead of baking the cheese in the oven, just toss it at the end. Perfect solution!
The apples – Even though I used Winesaps, any crisp and tart apple will do. A crisp apple stays somewhat firm, providing a different texture than the squash. Softer, sweeter apples will probably just get mushy.
The oil – I think I used 2 tablespoons. I actually just drizzled what looked good on top of the chopped squash and apples and it was probably around 2 Tbsp. Use just enough to coat and to keep the squash and apple from sticking to the dish while roasting. Walnut oil worked well, but canola, safflower, or refined peanut oil should work as well.
The cheese – Not much to say here except that you need to find some Manchego and enjoy this wonderful dish! I can’t think of another cheese that would be as good.