Sunday, November 6, 2011

Acorn Squash & Pine Nut Strudel with Chile Vinaigrette Dipping Sauce

 This strudel would be a great Thanksgiving Day side dish to be cut in slices  (for 3-4) and served along with the rest of the meal but also works as a perfect sized entree for two. The assembly is relatively quick and the end result is impressive and so, so tasty. Easy step by step directions are pictured below!

Roasted acorn squash, toasty pine nuts, breadcrumbs, fresh thyme and onion wrapped in a crispy phyllo shell served with chile vinaigrette to dip or drizzle lightly on top.

Acorn Squash & Pine Nut Strudel
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 medium sized acorn sqash, skin on, cut into 4 slices each, seeds removed
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 cup pinenuts
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 large shallot, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbl fresh thyme leaves
1 package phyllo dough (in a box of two), thawed
1 tsp dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 425.
Toss the squash slices with 2 tbl olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Roast for 35 minutes until soft and slightly caramelized. Set aside and reduce the oven to 375.
In a dry saute pan, toast the breadcrumbs and pine nuts together until light brown. Set aside in a large bowl.
In the same pan, saute the shallot and garlic in 1 tbl of oil over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add to the breadcrumb mixture along with the fresh thyme.
Scoop the squash off of the skin and into the breadcrumb mixture. Toss to combine making sure to keep chunks of squash and not mush it up completely.
Roll out the phyllo dough and cut the rectangle into a square. Brush a sheet with olive oil after every 5 sheets and stack on top of each other. Follow the picture directions!

Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with dried thyme.
Place on the same sheet you roasted the squash on, spraying lightly with canola spray if necessary.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy. The last couple of minutes I set on the broiler with the oven door open and let it crisp up (while keeping an eye on it!).

Chile Vinaigrette
1 red chile, roughly chopped (seeds and all)
6 tbl extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tbl chopped fresh parsley

Combine all of the ingredients in a small blender or food processor and blend for 2-3 minutes until thick and creamy. Taste and season if necessary.

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