Roasted Squash with Salsa Verde and Whipped Feta and Ricotta

A little fussy, but it is worth all the effort.

baked squash, squash, whipped ricotta
Serving Size: Serves 8

Roasted Squash with Salsa Verde and Whipped Feta and Ricotta

Most of the time I end up putting my energy into the main course. You, too, right? The side dishes then have a tiered level of time and effort afforded to each of them, often ending with something exciting like “rice”.   But sometimes it just makes sense to flip that paradigm on its head, keep the main dish undemanding and uncomplicated, and show the side dishes some love.

Pick an entrée that can be tossed in the oven, and then—other than the setting of a timer, and maybe an occasional basting—be ignored. A roast chicken, a filet, a leg of lamb. Then get started on this sexy side dish.

Roasted Squash with Salsa Verde and Whipped Feta and Ricotta

In a way, this recipe is a micro-version of that whole concept. Making roasted squash is just a matter of cubing squash (which can easily be bought peeled and seeded), tossing it with some oil and salt, and letting it do its thing in the oven.

Once the oven door is closed, you’ll spend a few minutes pureeing several green and flavorful ingredients in a blender or food processor for a verdant salsa verde, washing the bowl, then pureeing some ricotta and feta after that for a creamy finish. By the time the vegetables (and the roast) are ready to come out of the oven, you’ve got your squash accessories ready to go.

Perfect Whipped Fresh Ricotta

In this recipe, in general, add salt with a light hand as several of the ingredients in this dish—feta, capers, and anchovies—have a high level of salt already. You can always give the finished dish an extra sprinkle of salt if you think it’s needed.

You can let the squash cool to room temperature, or serve it warm. The salsa verde will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. The ricotta and feta mixture will keep for up to 5 days.

So is this dish a little fussy? Yes. But, man, is it worth it.

Roasted Squash with Salsa Verde and Whipped Feta and Ricotta

This Roasted Squash with Salsa Verde and Whipped Feta and Ricotta is a little fussy, but it is worth all the effort.

Roasted Squash with Salsa Verde and Whipped Feta and Ricotta

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 40 minutes
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For the Roasted Squash

  • 2 butternut squash (about 3 pounds total), peeled and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Scallion Salsa Verde

  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 anchovies, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Whipped Ricotta and Feta

  • 1 cup fresh whole milk ricotta
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt to taste, if needed

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, then spread the squash on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the 3 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss until the squash is evenly coated. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the squash is nicely browned in spots and tender inside.

This Roasted Squash with Salsa Verde and Whipped Feta and Ricotta is a little fussy, but it is worth all the effort.

2. Meanwhile, make the Scallion Salsa Verde. Place the parsley, scallions, thyme, anchovies, capers, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and red pepper flakes into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times, then let the motor run until it is pureed. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired (be generous with the pepper, but perhaps lighter on the salt thanks to the anchovies and capers). Transfer to a small serving bowl.

This Roasted Squash with Salsa Verde and Whipped Feta and Ricotta is a little fussy, but it is worth all the effort.

3. Then, make the Whipped Ricotta and Feta. Place the ricotta and feta into the (cleaned!) bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add a nice amount of pepper. With the motor running, drizzle in the 1/4 cup olive oil until the mixture is fluffy and smooth. Taste and see if the mixture needs salt. Transfer to a small bowl.

This Roasted Squash with Salsa Verde and Whipped Feta and Ricotta is a little fussy, but it is worth all the effort.

4. Transfer the squash to a serving platter. Spoon the Whipped Ricotta and Feta in little mounds over the squash. Drizzle the squash with the Salsa Verde.

This Roasted Squash with Salsa Verde and Whipped Feta and Ricotta is a little fussy, but it is worth all the effort.

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