Thankful! And a few caramelized pears, squash, and red onions

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. For the record – I’d like to say I’m thankful and that I really love Thanksgiving. I like that it’s food and family and gratitude focussed and not commercial. And I think that gratitude is a very civilized thing.

It was Cicero, who was born 106 BC, who said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all the others.” He also said a lot of other wonderful things such as, “Time heals all wounds,” and, “Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself,” and this – also one of my favourites, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

I love that the most essential knowledge has never really changed and that all we really need to know, we knew over a thousand years ago.

Every Thanksgiving, I actually try to harvest something from the garden which is always getting to the dreg ends by this point. This year, I’m using pears from my pear tree, which for the first time ever produced a bumper crop, unlike the tomatoes.

This dish is so easy you really don’t need a recipe but the flavour combination is perfect and so, I think, recipe worthy. Simple and sweet.

I used butternut squash which caramelizes beautifully. The pear is surprisingly tasty – as though roasting it condenses the normally quite mild flavour of pears. I’m doing this for Thanksgiving and will offset the sweetness of the dish by serving it alongside something like brussel sprouts or green beans sautéed with preserved lemon. And yes, of course, turkey and gravy, onion and sage sourdough stuffing, and fresh cranberry relish. And homemade pumpkin pie with loads of whipped cream. Ice wine to finish. Canadian ice wine. To celebrate the grape harvest of course!

Salut! And happy Canadian Thanksgiving.

Caramelized pear, butternut squash, and red onions

2 pears, washed and quartered, skin on, cores removed
1/2 fair size butternut squash – peeled and cut into smallish chunks – you need a couple of cups worth
1 large red onion, cut into eighths
1 tablespoon (or more – I like lots) olive oil (or grapeseed or avocado oil…)
1 tsp sea salt (I used rosemary sea salt)
black pepper

I microwaved the butternut squash in a Pyrex dish for about 3 minutes to speed up the cooking process but if you do this – don’t be tempted to cook the squash for too long – you don’t want it soggy.

Toss the squash, pears, and onion in olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread on a baking sheet brushed with oil and baked at 425 deg F until the onions and squash are browned – about 30 minutes or slightly longer. It will take 45 minutes if you haven’t partially pre-cooked the squash – so depending on the ripeness of your pears – you might want to add them 15 minutes after starting.


22 thoughts on “Thankful! And a few caramelized pears, squash, and red onions

  1. Well, I think I just found my side dish for my holiday feast this weekend!! Thanks Lindy! You are the best!!!
    Hi to darling Lola for me!

    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you too – what a beautiful weekend we are having! I might not have thought of roasting pears either but I have a steady supply of firm green pears to use up. Necessity is still the mother of invention!

  2. I’ll have to copy you on this on for sure. Roasted pears with butternut squash and red onions….sounds so wonderful Lindy. Wish I had it in the oven now. Happy Thanksgiving. Your menu sounds wonderful. And your Cicero quotes are very timely. 🙂

    1. Don’t you love Cicero? The quotes are timely for me too!
      Thank you for the Thanksgiving wishes – it’s the most beautiful weekend here – sunshine and blue blue skies and the trees are all turning… so lovely. I hope you’re seeing the sun in Seattle too. 😉

  3. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Have to admit I would never have thought of roasting pears with veg. Of course the flavours would go. Lovely with melted Brie and thyme leaves. I’m trying to grab some interesting veg combinations for a savoury crumble/crisp, and I think your post might just be the inspiration!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving and what a lovely and delicious assortment of roasted vegetables and fruit. Was it easier to peel the butternut after microwaving? I love them but they are so hard to peel and cut.

    1. Suzanne – I actually peeled and cubed the squash before I microwaved it. I find the easiest way to do it is to cut through the squash making disks of it – perhaps about 2 inches high. Then with the disk of squash flat side down – I take a sharp knife and cut the peel off – rotating the piece of squash as I go. It’s a bit wasteful but at least it is not dangerous!!
      Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to you too – and we can all celebrate again next month when it is American Thanksgiving. 😉

  5. I host a weekly link party called “Seasonal Sundays”. It’s about all things seasonal and I’d love to have you link. The link goes up Saturday evenings at 7 pm EST.

    – The Tablescaper

  6. Lindy, easy but lovely! If part of the clan descends on me again for our Thanksgiving down our way,I know what will be in the offerings!
    I hope you had a great holiday.(I am sooo backed-up here, sorting through all the notices and picking out ones I really want to see;I know some have fallen through the cracks!)

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