Annato Butternut

By • October 23, 2010 2 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe is a riff on my achiote chickpeas (which I had intended to make for dinner until butternut week was unveiled) so I switched it up a bit, went all butternuts on it, and it came out darn tasty! I know it sort of looks like a hot mess in the photo but it's good stuff. One note - I really like popping a whole coriander in my teeth now and again but some folks hate that - if that's you, leave them out!aargersi

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Serves 4 sides or 2 mains

  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 2 dried cascabel chilis
  • 1 teaspoon whole annato seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomato halves
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 ounces chevre cheese
  • toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/2 a lime
  • salt to taste
  1. Prep - steam the butternut until it's just soft but not cooked through. Set aside. Take the seeds out of the chilis and roughly chop them. Cut the onion half in half and then slice it. Crush the annato seed up a bit in a mortar and pestle or with a meat pounder or whatever you use to crush stuff. Toast the almonds if you haven't already (I just dry toast them in a skillet).
  2. Now heat the olive oil to the high end of medium high in a large skillet. Add the annato seed and chilis and let them sizzle for 2-3 minutes. Add the coriander seed if you are using it and sizzle that too.
  3. Add in the onions, season with salt toss them around to coat them - they will turn a really beautiful orangeish color. Then leave them alone for a couple of minutes so they can brown up. We want them crisped on the edge but not caramelized through.
  4. Now push the onions to the edges and add in the squash. Let it sit for a minute or so, then stir all of that together. Once the squash has started to brown and is cooked through, add in the tomatoes and stir. We want the tomatoes heated through but not cooked down.
  5. When the tomatoes are hot turn off the heat. Squeeze the lime in, stir in the cilantro. Break the chevre into pieces by hand and stir it in gently - you want blobs in there not a creamy sauce throughout. Put the whole hot mess in a dish, top with toasted almonds and dig in.
  6. A glass of cold dry white wine is very good at this point. Ask Sasha which one.

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