Though this recipe will thrill on the Thanksgiving table—right next to all the beige sides that we can’t part with, but wouldn’t mind de-beiging just a little—remember it in the dull moments of winter. Though all the ingredients pull their weight, the most crucial perker-upper is the spicy onions, which are just sliced red onions, quickly sauteed and then doused in lime juice and zest, honey, and red chile flakes. As they cool and lightly pickle, they turn a glowing ombré purple. You should make a triple batch of these every time, so that you can put them on every sandwich, salad, or bowl of rice that needs a jump. Adapted slightly from Bon Appétit (February 2014).
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Dan Kluger's Roasted Butternut Squash with Spicy Onions
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, stirring often, until lightly charred and softened but not falling apart, 5 to 7 minutes, seasoning lightly with salt. Add the red pepper flakes and toss to combine. Remove the pan from heat and mix in the lime juice and honey. Let cool, then mix in the lime zest. Taste and adjust seasonings. Spicy onions can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill, then bring up to room temperature to serve.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Spicy Onions
Heat the oven to 350°F. Toast the hazelnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Crack one open to make sure it's golden and toasted through. (If your hazelnuts are not blanched and still have their skins, cool them wrapped in a clean kitchen towel, then rub off whatever skins will come off easily.) Let cool, then coarsely chop.
Increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Toss the squash and 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Divide between 2 rimmed baking sheets (don't wash the bowl). Roast, undisturbed, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Return the squash to the bowl, then add hazelnuts, parsley, mint, marjoram, and spicy onions, and toss to combine.
Transfer the herby squash salad to a large serving platter, crumble goat cheese over, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Make ahead notes: Squash can be roasted up to 3 days ahead and stored airtight in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature before serving). Goat cheese can be crumbled ahead at any point, and chilled airtight. Hazelnuts can be toasted preferably no more than a day ahead and stored airtight at room temperature. Herbs can be chopped earlier the same day they're served, then covered with a damp paper towel and chilled. Toss together and plate not long before serving.
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