[Roasted Winter Squash with Caramelized Onions and Olives is vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut-free and yeast-free. Suitable for all stages on an anti-candida diet.]
It’s almost Canadian Thanksgiving! Happy day of thanks to all you fellow Canadians out there. 🙂
Whenever I mention our Thanksgiving on Facebook or other social media, I invariably receive comments from my US friends noting that our timing seems, somehow, more logical than the US-based T-Day, given that the harvest occurs around this time of year. (I always assume that the weather is so much warmer south of the border–so much so that maybe your harvest actually did occur in late November?). Of course, Thanksgiving in October makes more sense in terms of our annual schedules, too, providing an additional day off in October while the weather is still good enough (read: no snow yet) to head up north to the cottage (which I’m sure I’d appreciate if I actually had a cottage).
For me, Thanksgiving in October usually means: WTF?! It’s OCTOBER already?? Where the heck did August and September go–? Then, I scramble to throw together a festive menu over the following two or three days, rush out to do some grocery shopping and pick up all the ingredients, frantically clean the house, cook like a maniac (oh, and I prepare/photograph the food so I can share it on this blog, too, of course), then feast with the HH and The Girls before I collapse in a heap on actual Thanksgiving Day. (Okay, I lied, that description is not strictly true. In reality, I skip the “clean the house” part.).
Well, here we are TWO days before the big holiday, and guess what? I have a fantastic recipe for y’all! Most importantly, it’s a super-simple one to make, it looks incredibly impressive, and it’s delicious, to boot. Plus, you likely have already purchased the main ingredient for your own feast, so you can easily try out something new for your festive table without having to head back to the grocery store.
Then again, if you’re fortunate enough to live in the US, your Thanksgiving won’t occur for another month or so. . . which means you’re way ahead of the game with this Thanksgiving side dish recipe.
Nothing like planning ahead, right?
(And if you’re looking for even more vegan, gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes, here’s last year’s mega roundup of more than 75 of them!).
Roasted Winter Squash with Caramelized Onions and Olives
This recipe was inspired by one I noticed while leafing through the latest issue of Eating Well magazine in the grocery checkout line. I decided on the spot that I’d have to reproduce it in a form I could eat, and marched off to buy some winter squash. I loved the combination of squash with salty, robust olives; and the sweet, mild squash complemented by caramelized onion are a perfect counterpoint, both visually and in terms of taste and texture. This dish offers a beautiful presentation, too!
For the squash:
2 small delicata, acorn, or or sweet dumpling squash (I used one delicata and one acorn)
1/4 cup (60 ml) melted virgin coconut oil, preferably organic
10-15 drops plain pure stevia liquid
pinch fine sea salt
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
For the toppings:
1 Tbsp (15 ml) virgin coconut or olive oil, preferably organic
1 large red onion, cut in half moon slices
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable broth or stock, plus more if needed
1 tsp (5 ml) apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup (60 ml) sliced oil-cured black olives (such as infornate)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) roasted pumpkin seeds, optional
fine sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
Roast the squash: cut off the stem end and bottom of each squash, then slice into 1/2-inch (1 cm) rounds. Scoop or cut out the seeds in the middle so that you have donut-shaped slices of each squash.
In a small bowl, combine the coconut oil, cinnamon, stevia and salt. Brush the tops of each round with the mixture, then flip over and brush the other side as well. Sprinkle the side facing up with cinnamon.
Roast the squash until it’s soft and beginning to brown, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the topping: In a large nonstick frypan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion slices. Stir to coat all the onions. Cover the pan and cook about 5 minutes, until the slices are beginning to soften and are translucent.
Add the broth to the pan and lower the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and cook, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until the onions are soft and golden and all the broth has evaporated. If the onions begin to brown too much, add more broth to keep them moist.
Sprinkle the onions with the vinegar and add remaining ingredients except pumpkin seeds to the pan, stirring gently to combine. Turn off heat and replace the cover.
When the squash is cooked, place on a serving platter and add dollops of the topping evenly over the slices. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, if desired. Serve. Makes 4-6 side servings. May be frozen.
Note: You can also make this dish in advance and reheat to serve; simply layer the cooked slices in a casserole dish, alternating with layers of the topping. To reheat, drizzle with a little extra broth, then cover and heat at 350F (180C) for 20-30 minutes, until heated through. Serve.
Suitable for: ACD all stages, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut free, yeast-free, vegan.
[Still great rewarmed in a casserole dish the next day!]
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This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.
Johanna GGG says
It sure is a beautiful recipe. And here I was impressed you were cleaning the house, so I had a laugh and a sigh of relief when you said you didn’t! I think an October Thanksgiving makes sense in that you get your holidays spaced our more (after June we only had one public holiday before Christmas here which always makes the winter even more grim) and if Thanksgiving was in November for me I know I would do thanksgiving and be trying to get over it while also preparing for Christmas – but Thanksgiving is so big it sometimes seems to overshadow christmas
Ricki Heller says
Thanks, Johanna! I was surprised at how easy it is to make, but how pretty the final result! 🙂 And I agree, holidays more evenly spaced means a much brighter disposition, too. I’d be the same if our Thanksgiving were so late–it seems like just a quick hop to Christmas after that. We get Halloween close on the heels of Thanksgiving, but since we don’t do that any more in our house (the dogs go ballistic and scare the little children), that gives me time to prepare for December (or else to just take it easy and then scramble at the last minute again!). 😉
Johanna GGG says
Oh and I forgot to add hope you have a great thanksgiving – am sure your feast will be fantastic and I hope you get lots of relaxation after you enjoy it
I love the olives. You don’t see them paired with squash frequently. You have an interesting mix of sweet and salty going on.
Ricki Heller says
Thanks, Kalinda! I thought it was an interesting pairing when I saw it in Eating Well, too. And I loved it once I cooked it up and tasted it! 🙂
What a glorious-looking dish Ricki. Definitely appropriate for a celebration I should think.
Hope you have a lovely thanksgiving today- relax if nothing else! x
Ricki Heller says
Thanks so much, Emma! Relaxation is definitely on the menu. 😉 xo
I’m not an olive lover. Can you suggest something else to replace the olives? Maybe capers?
Thanks! I love your recipes. Have helped me so much live a normal life.
Ricki Heller says
My first suggestion would be capers, too (though perhaps a bit less?). I don’t know what kind of diet you follow, but my second inclination would be to top it with bits of tempeh bacon–salty, smoky, savory kind of flavor (or if you’re a meat eater, regular bacon). Let me know how it turns out if you try it that way! And thank you so much for your very kind comment–that is exactly why I do what I do on this blog. So glad the recipes are helpful! 🙂