Weeknight Cooking

Orange Vegetable Pileup with Homemade Cottage Cheese

October 15, 2016
2 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

The cottage cheese recipe is from Food52er lapadia and only takes 35 minutes to make, from start to finish! While the cottage cheese rests, start the rest of the dinner, inspired by Winter Squash Agrodolce in Bon Appétit. —Sarah Jampel

What You'll Need
  • For the cottage cheese (makes about 3/4 cup):
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 splash Cream, milk, yogurt, or crème fraîche
  • 1 dash Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the orange vegetable pileup:
  • 3 pounds (more or less) winter squash and/or sweet potatoes (I like a mix of delicata, kabocha, and Japanese yam)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 hot red chiles (like bird's eye or cayenne), thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 Coarsely chopped roasted salted almonds, for garnish (optional)
  1. For the cottage cheese (makes about 3/4 cup):
  2. Affix a candy thermometer to a large pot and pour in the milk. Over medium heat, heat the milk until it reaches between 175° to 180° F, stirring now and then to keep the milk from sticking.
  3. Take the pot off the heat, add the lemon juice while stirring, and mix thoroughly. Cover the pot with a dish towel and let sit for 30 minutes, until you see that the curds have separated. (You can start prepping the orange vegetables—see below—as you wait!)
  4. Set a colander lined with cheesecloth in a bowl, then slowly pour the curds and whey into the colander and allowing the whey to drain away. Wait about 5 minutes. (Discard the whey or save it for several other uses: https://food52.com/blog/14715-12-ways-to-use-up-whey.)
  5. Tie the four corners of the cheesecloth around the curds, then rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle, then squeeze and rinse. After completely cooled and squeezed, transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with salt.
  6. When ready to serve, stir in cream, milk, yogurt, or crème fraîche to make a creamy mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  1. For the orange vegetable pileup:
  2. Heat the oven to 475° F. Peel any squashes that need peeling (peel kabocha, buttercup, red kuri; no need to peel delicata or sweet potatoes). Remove seeds from any squashes, then cut all vegetables into wedges about 3/4-inch thick. (You'll need to cut any very long squash in half lengthwise before wedging).
  3. Toss the wedges with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a generous shower of salt, and grindings of black pepper. Spread the wedges out on a baking sheet and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until soft all the way through and golden-brown and caramelized.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring chiles, vinegar, honey, raisins, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thicker and more syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes. 

  5. Take the finished vegetables out of the oven, brush with the warm agrodolce, and transfer to a serving plate. Dollop the cottage cheese (stirred with the cream to make it creamier) all over, sprinkle with herbs, then spoon the rest of the agrodolce over top, drizzling it over all the vegetables. Shower with lime zest and a squeeze of lime juice. Top with chopped nuts if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • chez_mere
  • janet tipple
    janet tipple
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
  • Hila

11 Reviews

chez_mere October 15, 2017
Made this for the second time last night. Used a combination of peeled butternut and acorn squash, as well as store-bought, full-fat cottage cheese. It was a big hit with the family, even my dad who normally prefers to see a conventional protein on his plate. The only real change I made was to serve it on a bed of arugula dressed with a little more olive oil and lime juice. We all agreed the bright bitterness was a perfect foil for the sweet roasted squash. Will be making it again this season for sure!
Sarah J. October 15, 2017
The arugula sounds like a great addition!
Hila December 14, 2016
Can I use a store bought cottage cheese?
Sarah J. December 14, 2016
Yes! I'd use a full-fat, great-tasting cottage cheese—or a fresh ricotta (that might be more similar to freshly made cottage cheese, actually!).
Heidi R. October 8, 2017
If you need a recommendation, I've become addicted to Cabot Full Fat cottage cheese. It's the creamy BOMB . . .!!
janet T. December 7, 2016
Do you finely chop the chiles for the sauce? There is no instruction to do so, but I'm assuming you can't leave them whole if you're going to brush the mixture onto the roasted vegetables.
Sarah J. December 7, 2016
Chiles should be thinly sliced—sorry about that oversight!
Mel F. November 9, 2016
This was great and different! As a vegetarian, beans and eggs get old when it comes to protein. I used a small butternut squash and a large sweet potato and the veggies made at least six servings as an entree- I used store bought cottage cheese because I'm lazy :)
Sarah J. November 9, 2016
So glad you liked it!
Erin November 6, 2016
Can the cottage cheese be made with a non dairy milk?
Sarah J. November 6, 2016
Hi Erin, I haven't tried making it with non-dairy milk, but I have found some recipes online for non-dairy cottage cheese: http://www.glutenfreeandmore.com/recipes/dairy_free_cottage_cheese-2285-1.html and http://www.veganfamilyrecipes.com/vegan-cottage-cheese/. I assume they produce pretty different results! There are also non-dairy cottage cheeses available for purchase—so you could use a storebought option instead, Hope that helps!