This past Saturday evening my partner Atara and I hosted our fourth The Wandering. An intimate home cooked late autumn feast, we opened our home and our table to eight of Washington, DC’s ‘Wanderers’ in the hopes of fostering community and conversation in a real life, accessible atmosphere. The evening surpassed every expectation, giving us the opportunity to meet and mingle with such a refreshingly wonderful group, filling our night with this immense and altruistic magic after a week of seemingly endless national commotion. Perhaps it was the bottomless cider hot toddies, perhaps our table was that welcomed reprieve – fostering this intimate moment in time where we could step away from day-to-day this’s-and-that’s and just be.
With offerings ranging from an array of heirloom crudité to my Warm Cannellini and Browned Carrot Salad, all eyes and bellies were drawn to our caramelized onion and butternut squash butter. Served on a dark rye toast, this simple yet wonderfully vibrant and intense squash butter boasts roasted butternut squash, slow cooked onions, and subtle hints of sweetness and acidity from pure maple and apple cider vinegar. Topped with your choice of crumbled almond milk based cheese or feta and pops of fresh mint, we bet you can’t munch just one.
Caramelized Squash Butter
1 large butternut squash, halved and deseeded
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced very thin
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Brush the flesh side of each butternut squash half with the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt & pepper, then place flesh side down on the parchment. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until squash is fork tender. Allow to cool, then scoop out flesh, discarding of skins.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan heat remaining ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat until just hot. Stir in onion and gently stir for 10-15 minutes, or until onion is very soft, but not burnt. Add vinegar and maple and continue to heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until mixture has greatly reduced and has an almost jam-like consistency. Remove from heat.
Fold in butternut squash, season to taste, then serve and enjoy!
All ingredients generously provided by Washington’s Green Grocer in celebration of DC’s local farmers and makers. Snag 25$ off your next order with the promo code WANDERING and also find kits with all of the ingredients from some of our favorite The Wandering recipes, here.