Roasted Sweet Dumpling Squash and Cranberries with Orange-Ginger Glaze
It’s funny how the holidays change as time passes. We all start out wide-eyed and full of wonder at the various celebrations happening around us. As childhood wears on we become harder to impress, looking for instant gratification. Where are my presents? Can I have another cookie? Can I have it right now? Eventually we outgrow even the thrill of sugary treats and shiny new toys. The holidays become somewhat anticlimactic.
But then as an adult something amazing happens. Your family, in every sense of the word, grows. You form lasting friendships. You get married. You have kids. There’s a sort of beautiful melding of old and new. Memories of past Thanksgivings with your childhood family brush shoulders with new additions. You watch your own children experiencing this all through fresh eyes, and it’s both exciting and bittersweet. You will never be a child again; will never experience these days with pure and uncomplicated happiness. But to share this time with the ones you love is suddenly worth so much more.
Your family is not the only thing growing and changing around the holidays. The Thanksgiving table is too. Again there’s a blending of old and new; the nostalgia of that iconic roasted turkey. The timeless green bean casserole. The inevitable cranberry jelly from a can, jiggling suspiciously in the corner by the yams. And then there’s always room for ambitious new dishes, like this Roasted Sweet Dumpling Squash and Cranberries, which is not only simple and wholesome but also brimming with a gluttony of holiday flavor. Roasting brings out the best in vegetables. It turns the sweet dumpling squash into something tender and sweet, the edible skin taking on an almost candy-like crunch. The cranberries burst and caramelize, looking like little red jewels. And the fresh orange and ginger glaze adds a punch of warm flavor that brings it all together.
Why is it good for you?
Cranberries are a true superfood, being exceptionally high in nutrients and antioxidants. They both prevent and fight cancer in multiple ways, even helping your body kill tumor cells! They also have unique anti-bacterial properties inside your body, protecting you from urinary tract infections and possibly from stomach ulcers. Research has repeatedly shown that in order to obtain the full benefits of cranberries, they need to be eaten in their whole form rather than in dietary supplements.
Like all winter squash, sweet dumpling squash is very nutrient-dense due to its long time spent on the vine. It’s a great source of vitamins and fiber. The deep orange color means that it’s especially high in beta carotene, which protects your eyes and fights against cancer and heart disease.
Ginger aids circulation, inhibits the common cold, and is a natural anti-inflammatory. It’s also great for nausea and indigestion.
- 5 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 sweet dumpling squash (about 12 oz.)
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. maple syrup, divided
- Juice of 1 large orange (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- olive oil for roasting, about 2 Tbsp.
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper.
- Wash the sweet dumpling squash, then cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Slice halves from end to end in 1/4"-1/2" slices.
- Toss squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste and spread evenly over the prepared pan.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until soft and somewhat caramelized.
- While squash roasts, line a small baking pan with parchment paper.
- Toss cranberries with olive oil and 1 Tbsp. maple syrup in the prepared pan.
- Roast 15-20 minutes or until beginning to caramelize.
- Toss the squash and cranberries with the Orange Ginger Glaze and serve.
- Combine orange juice, 1 tsp. maple syrup, ginger and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium-high and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until reduced by about two thirds.
Cranberry roasting method adapted from Bon Appetit’s Roasted Cranberries with Thyme.