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Roasted Butternut Squash Filled with Port-Soaked Fruit

  • Servings: 6

You've never had butternut squash served this way. An oven bag contains the butternut squash halves as they roast in the oven. Meanwhile, the dried fruit cooks in a port wine-vinegar-sugar mixture, soaking up all the port sweetness for a squash topper. When assembled, they're both served with toasted baguette slices, aged white cheddar and crunchy almonds for a complex combination of flavors. After the meal, pick up the cooled oven bag and toss.

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Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1-1/2 pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups port wine or pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup salted whole almonds, chopped
  • Aged white cheddar cheese or Gruyere cheese, shaved
  • Toasted baguette slices
  • Flour
  • Disposable oven bags

Directions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place disposable oven bag in a roasting pan according to package directions, shaking at least a tablespoon of flour in the bag. Cut six 1/2-inch slits in top of bag.

Step 2

Rub squash halves with oil then sprinkle cut side with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place squash, cut side down, in prepared oven bag; close bag. Roast until easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 33 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a platter, cut side up.

Step 3

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine the port wine, vinegar, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to boiling over medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, 4 minutes. Add the apricots and cherries. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Remove fruit from saucepan with a slotted spoon; set aside. Return saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat. Bring port mixture to boiling; cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and reduced to about 1/2 cup; about 14 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the fruit mixture and nuts. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.

Step 4

Spoon fruit mixture into squash. Place any remaining mixture in a serving bowl.

Step 5

To serve, place shaved cheese on baguette slices. Spoon on squash and fruit mixture. Makes 6 servings.

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