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Sautéed Squash & Feta Cheese

By Tia Ohm

This is a great autumn harvest meal or side dish to make from the numerous selections of squash and pumpkins available into the winter months. It can be served as a cold salad, but we prefer it warmed. It’s a great addition to a main course of poultry.

  • 1 whole pumpkin or butternut squash (Any winter squash can be used; for acorn squash, use 2–3)
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • 8–10 baby shallots, whole, peeled
  • 2–3 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh red chilis, de-seeded, finely diced
  • 12 oz. feta cheese (our preference is creamy sheep’s feta)
  • ½ cup nuts or seeds, toasted (Try pumpkin or sunflower seeds, slivered almonds or pine nuts)
  • Olive oil

Prep and Cooking

  1. Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C). Peel and cut the squash into small, uniform pieces.
  2. Add 1 tbs. olive oil to a heated pan. Slightly brown the squash on each side, but do not cook it all the way through. Set aside the browned squash in a medium bowl.
  3. Combine garlic cloves (slightly crushed) and shallots with the squash. Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently mix with spoon.
  4. Spread the medley onto a medium-size baking tray. Add the bay leaves and roast in the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the squash, garlic and shallots are just tender.
  5. While the squash is roasting, place the diced chili peppers in a small bowl. Add olive oil and let the oil mingle with the chili flavor. Dry-roast the seeds and/or nuts until golden and set aside. Crumble the feta cheese and place in a bowl.
  6. When the squash medley is cooked, remove from oven. If you are presenting the cooled salad version, allow the squash medley to cool. Then place in a serving dish and top with the crumbled feta, nuts and seeds of your choice. Drizzle the chili oil over the top. Parsley is also great chopped up and sprinkled over this dish for added color, contrast and flavor. For the warm dish, simply add the same toppings and serve immediately while warm. (If you are preparing this dish in advance to serve it warm later, top it with the crumbled feta and slightly reheat the dish for just 5 minutes in a medium oven. Then add the nuts and chili oil.)

Serves two as a main dish, four as a side.
Photo credit: Tia Ohm