It truly amazes me that there are so many different vegetable and fruit varieties out there. Almost every time I go to the market, I feel like I have discovered something new. Pink lemons, raspberry oranges, lion's mane mushrooms, it's like a whole new world! My latest discovery this past winter was honey squash. Much to my pleasant surprise, I absolutely loved it. A little of this, a little of that, and I created my new favorite squash dish. This roasted honeynut squash with garlic vinaigrette, braised beans, crumbled feta, kale, and shredded Brussels sprouts make a wonderful side or main dish. Hopefully, you'll enjoy it as much as I did!
Roasted Honeynut Squash with Garlic Vinaigrette
Roasted honeynut squash
- 1 honeynut squash
- ½ red onion sliced into ½ inch-thick wedges
- 2 garlic cloves smashed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- salt and pepper
- 28 ounces cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 garlic clove smashed
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup olive oil divided
- 6 cloves garlic
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup sourdough bread torn into small chunks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch lacinto kale stems removed, chopped
- 1 cup shaved brussels sprouts
- ¼ cup goat cheese crumbled
- extra virgin olive oil for finishing
- freshly cracked black pepper and Maldon salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Peel honeynut squash and cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and slice into ½-inch thick slices. Toss with sliced red onion, garlic cloves, olive oil, cumin, paprika, sumac, salt, and pepper. Spread vegetables in an even layer on baking sheet. Roast for 40-45 minutes, flipping over vegetables halfway through.
- Meanwhile, braise beans. Combine drained beans with vegetable stock, olive oil, bay leaf, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and continue to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Make garlic vinaigrette. Combine ¼ cup oil and garlic cloves in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and continue to cook until garlic is golden brown and softened. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Add lemon juice, mustard, water, sugar, salt, and pepper. While the blender is on, slowly add remaining ¼ cup oil and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
- Make croutons. Toss torn bread pieces with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Spread on baking sheet and toast for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Toss chopped kale and shaved brussels sprouts with a couple spoonfuls garlic vinaigrette, massaging dressing into the greens.
- Arrange roasted squash on serving platter. Spoon braised beans on top with a slotted spoon, discarding braising liquid. Top with kale and brussels sprouts, croutons, and goat cheese. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and season with freshly cracked black pepper and Maldon salt. Serve with extra garlic vinaigrette on the side if desired.
Watch how to make this:
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
If you never had honeynut squash before, think of it like butternut squash, but sweeter. When you roast the squash, it almost has a hint of caramel. It is, in my opinion, the best squash.
Peel the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and slice the squash into ½-inch thick slices. Squash can be a hassle to peel so I like to steam it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. This softens the skin just enough to make it easier to peel without cooking the vegetable.
Toss the sliced honeynut squash with sliced red onion, garlic, olive oil, and spices. Spread the vegetables in an even layer on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. Make sure to flip the squash over halfway through so that both sides get browned.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the remaining ingredients. Simmer the beans on low with vegetable stock, olive oil, bay leaf, garlic, salt, and pepper for about 20 minutes. Yes, technically the canned beans are already cooked but simmering them brings them back to life.
You can also use dried beans but make sure to adjust the cooking time. Feel free to swap the beans for another type but I picked cannellini beans because they get ultra-creamy.
Now for the roasted garlic vinaigrette. Slowly heat oil with crushed garlic cloves over medium heat and cook the garlic until golden brown. This is the shortcut way to roast garlic but you can use the oven as well.
If you want to use the oven, cut the top off of a whole garlic head. Drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of oil, then wrap it up in aluminum foil. Roast the garlic at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until softened. Then, squeeze out the garlic cloves, reserving the remaining for another time.
Blend the ingredients for the garlic vinaigrette including the oil used for cooking the garlic. Season the dressing with salt and pepper and let it cool completely. You can also make the dressing up to 3 days in advance.
Toast the bread for croutons and shred the fresh kale and Brussels sprouts. Toss the greens with the vinaigrette, reserving extra dressing for serving.
Remove the roasted honeynut squash from the oven and arrange it on a serving platter. Top it with braised cannellini beans, chopped kale, shredded Brussels sprouts, feta, and croutons. Finish the dish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of Maldon salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
This roasted honeynut squash with garlic vinaigrette is what I call, the ultimate side dish. The squash itself is incredibly sweet and plays well with salty feta, bitter greens, and savory dressing. Meanwhile, the creamy beans add heartiness and the croutons add a crunchy texture. Now I must make this dish as many times as possible while honey squash is still available!
For more squash inspiration check out these butternut squash rosti with fried eggs!