Butternut Squash with Spinach, Cranberries and Pine Nuts

After a few days of shifting from room to room….the painting crew has left my house in such pretty colors and I spent majority of my day cleaning up paint dust and putting things back into place.  I also got rid of two boxes worth of stuff and while knee deep in stuff and tangled up in scraves and such I stumbled on an old issue of my Fine Cooking Magazine.  Whenever I stop doing something to pick up a Cooking Magazine that is it, my mind is putting a dinner puzzle together.  I had planned to make Turkey Burgers but while skimming through the pages I found so many tasty veggie recipes that I thought it would work out as a great side.  I love this sweet butternut squash with spinach and pine nuts recipe so much that I will be making this as a main lunch dish in the future.  I substituted dried cranberries for the raisins in this dish and loved it.  Let the butternut squash brown on the sides before continuing to the next step- the crunch to the butternut squash with the natural tasty sweetness of this veggie is so good.  I only put about 5 chopped cranberries in it, so it would be just as good without if you don’t have any on hand.  I keep these nut mixes in my hiking back pack that has cranberries in it, so that’s how I came to adding this in replacement of raisins that I never buy. 😉



  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 small lemon, finely grated to yield 1/2 tsp. zest and squeezed to yield 2 tsp. juice
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-3/4 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 5 oz. mature spinach leaves, thick stems removed (about 5 packed cups)
  • 1 oz. coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. toasted pine nuts

Melt the butter in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the milk solids turn light brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest and juice, and swirl to combine.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and 1/2 tsp. salt; toss well to coat.

Cover the pan with the lid ajar by about 1 inch. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until the squash begins to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. As the mixture cooks, you should hear a gentle sizzle.

Turn the heat down to low, add the onions and raisins and cook, stirring occasionally and then gently pushing the vegetables back into a single layer so that most have direct contact with the pan, until the vegetables are tender and browned, 12 to 15 minutes more.

Add the spinach and lemon butter and toss gently until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese and pine nuts. Season to taste with salt. Serve right away or let sit off the heat, partially covered, until ready to serve, and then reheat gently over medium-low heat.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 290; Fat (g): fat g 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 6; Protein (g): protein g 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 32; Polyunsaturated Fat (g):2.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 280; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 20; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

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