Winter Squash With Shallots and Walnuts on a Bed of Baby Arugula

Many folks think that because squashes are starchy that they are high on the glycemic index; not true. (It's not the carbs that matter as much as how much they raise blood sugar to digest them. This is the glycemic count and you can learn more about this important distinction at David Mendosa's site.)

Each of these winter veggies are nutritional superstars packed with beta carotene and in the case of butternut, alpha-carotene.

Butternut squash is a vitamin A powerhouse packing in 22,868 IUs per cup. Acorn squash gives you 9 grams of fiber per cup and only 115 calories, 896 mgs of potassium and almost 2 mgs of iron. Once you get passed the "how do I cut this thing?" bit, you are on your way to a super easy, delicious rice or potato substitute.

Pumpkin--the rock star of Halloween decorations--is a potassium heavyweight--containing more than a medium banana and has only 49 calories per cup.

I've chosen Butternut Squash for this month's recipe, it might be my favorite but you can find it peeled in some supermarkets giving you no excuse not to add this to the menu once a month or more in season.

Whichever one you choose you can put the whole thing in the oven as is and do a slow roast. It's done when you can press the skin and leave a dent but not so much so that your finger goes right through. Let it cool then peel it. No muss, no fuss no excuses.

PS-the walnuts and walnut oil not only taste rich but they are rich in nutrients like protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.

Winter Squash with Shallots and Walnuts on a bed of Baby Arugula


I'm going unstructured here, exact amounts will vary depending on the size of the squash

1 Butternut squash-cut down the middle lengthwise, leave the seeds for now
1 or 2 small shallots, peeled, sliced
Walnut oil enough keep the cooked squash from sticking to a pan
1 teaspoon or so of sweet butter
Fresh Baby Arugula or Kale leaves, washed, spin dry, chopped if Kale
Olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Roasted walnut halves


1. Put the cut squash inside down on a sheet covered with parchment or foil.

2. Pour enough water on the pan to cover the bottom barely.

3. Place in a preheated 375 oven til soft but not mushy. For a medium squash this will take about 25-35 mins.

4. When done let it cool. Scoop out the seeds and discard.

5. Scoop the squash pulp into a bowl. At this point you can use it or store it in the fridge. It does freeze well so you have lots of options.

6. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, add the walnut oil and heat til fragrant but not very hot.

7. Add the shallots and cook til golden brown then add the squash and stir to blend.

8. Season with salt and pepper, add the butter if you like, hold in a warm oven or covered off to the side.

9. Heat another pan and add the olive oil, when hot add the arugula, stir briskly, cook just til it's all hot not necessarily cooked through.

10. Season with S & P.

Assemble the dish with arugula around the edges of a shallow bowl. Place a portion of squash in the center, break up a few roasted walnuts over the top and enjoy.

This was my lunch today and it was exceptional.

Chef's note: Keep all of your nut oils in the refrigerator to prevent them from becoming rancid.

Users Reading this article are also interested in:
Top Searches on Types of Nuts:
Roasted Walnuts Fresh Walnuts
About The Author,
Gregory Anne Cox was one of the early female graduates of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. She spent 20+ years in the hospitality industry, and recently, cooking privately for some of the country's rich and famous on the eastern end of Long Island in the Hamptons, NY where she currently lives with her husband and 4 cats.

Currently Gregory offers teleseminars on Midlife wellness, one on one and group coaching, is an author and speaker on the topic of midlife women's mind and body tune ups and heart health. Her newsletter and blog, both titled The You Revolution, keep subscribers and clients up to date on what's new in feeling and looking better than ever in the second half of life.

The Blog: