the taste space

Hazelnut-Roasted Delicata Squash with Hazelnut-Sage Pesto

Posted in Favourites, Salads by Janet M on December 6, 2012

While I planted basil this summer, I didn’t use very much of it. It bolted before I knew what I wanted to do with it. My Pesto Perpetuo basil, a non-bolting basil, from two years ago was a basil warehouse. I had access to basil year-round as it survived the trip back into the house during winter. However, it died when I put it back outside this year. I suppose annuals have to die at some point. Given my lack of basil this summer, I feel that it is worth scoping it out next year.

Of course, it makes sense that once the summer is mere a distant memory, the days are cold and the rides back home in the night even colder, all I want is pesto. One of my proliferative herbs this summer was sage (if only the thyme and rosemary could have taken some advice). It may be synonymous with Thanksgiving stuffing, but one can definitely look beyond that.

You actually don’t need cups of sage to make this pesto. Instead sage is buffered with mild baby spinach to create a garlicky spread. Instead of pine nuts, I used toasted hazelnuts and hazelnut oil to flavour this winter pesto. The nutritional yeast adds the traditional cheesy taste but feel free to omit it. I chose to serve it with hazelnut-roasted delicata squash rings. Served on more greens, you have a very flavourful salad. Add white beans to make this a main meal. I didn’t use too much oil so my pesto was more thick than oily. Loaded with flavour.  Later in the week, I liked it smeared inside a green wrap (with a nod to my simple hazelnut-roasted squash, avocado and cucumber wrap).

Do you like pesto in the winter?

This is my submission to this month’s Herbs on Saturdays and to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

Hazelnut-Roasted Delicata Squash with Winter Hazelnut-Sage Pesto
Adapted from Big Vegan

1 large delicata squash (aka sweet potato squash) (600g) (or your favourite winter squash)
1-2 tbsp hazelnut oil (or your oil of choice)
salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1 clove garlic
2 cups baby spinach
4 tbsp sage (increase if you want a more pronounced sage flavour, this was mild)
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp hazelnut oil (or oil of choice)

4-6 cups baby spinach
2 cups cooked white beans (optional)

1. To roast the squash, preheat oven to 425F. Slice squash into 1–2 cm thick rings and scoop out the seeds and pulp  (no need to peel!). Toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Evenly place on a silpat-lined baking tray (it just helps with the clean-up). Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Flip squash over and cook an additional 15 minutes, until it can be easily pierced with a fork.  Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, prepare your pesto. In a food processor fitted with its S-blade, chop hazelnuts and garlic until finely ground. Add spinach, sage, nutritional yeast and salt and blend until smooth. Drizzle in oil until you reach your desired consistency. Season with additional salt and pepper.

3. Serve roasted squash overtop spinach and top with pesto. Add white beans for a complete meal.

Serves 4 as a starter salad.

26 Responses

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  1. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said, on December 6, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    I’ve been roasting squash with fresh sage and rosemary a lot lately. This pesto takes it to a new level! Every year I look forward to hazelnuts making their appearance. Such a fantastic rich treat!

  2. Erica said, on December 6, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Where do you find delicata squash in Toronto??

    • janet @ the taste space said, on December 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      I have definitely seen it at Fiesta Farms and the Mega Loblaws on Carlton. Most larger supermarkets probably carry it now.

    • Hannah said, on December 6, 2012 at 9:23 PM

      I get it at Kensington Markets – the place opposite Essence of Life has heaps of it right now!

  3. Eileen said, on December 6, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    I like pesto all the time! :) I think your sage-hazelnut version sounds great with roasted squash. :)

  4. tinykitchenstories said, on December 6, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Love pesto! Just made some recently with carrot tops and arugula. First time using carrot tops, and I loved it! Can’t wait to try it with some squash… Cheers!

  5. Hannah said, on December 6, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Delicata! My favourite! And it’s easy to know which one it is, too ;)

  6. Joanne said, on December 6, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    I LOVE pestos in winter for infusing a bit of summer into the cold weather! I paired sage pesto with butternut squash last year and it’s the best! Love your hazelnut infusion.

  7. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on December 8, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    YUM! I just love pesto in the winter- I tend to enjoy heavier foods, as I’m sure most people do, and pesto fits that bill! This looks delicious! Sage and squash are just amazing together :)

  8. Claire said, on December 8, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Hey Janet!
    I’ve got an award for you over at my blog

    http://www.skinny-vegan-food.com/2012/12/leibster-award.html

    Feel free to play along or ignore it if you want!
    Love & smiles xxx

  9. Deb in Hawaii said, on December 10, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    This is so pretty and I love sage, especially with squash. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays. ;-)

  10. narf77 said, on December 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    We just started growing vegetables this year and planted 3 sage bushes along with our vegetables and have been growing some hazelnut trees in anticipation of planting out a small hazelnut grove on the property so this sage and hazelnut pesto sounds amazing (and attainable in the not too distant future) for me! :) Cheers for a great and delicious sounding recipe

    • janet @ the taste space said, on December 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      I had a few sage plants and they exploded! So much sage! I love herbs that flourish without any of my help. ;) But a hazelnut tree??? That is wicked awesome!! So jealous! Can’t wait to see what else you make this them.

      • narf77 said, on December 10, 2012 at 3:16 PM

        I have hazelnut trees, walnut trees and sweet chestnut trees that I grew from “found” seed (under trees) that are all about ready to plant out…only thing is, 4 acres isn’t enough space for the 25 walnuts, 10 hazelnuts and 20 sweet chestnut trees that we propagated! I feel some “giving away” generosity coming over me :)

      • janet @ the taste space said, on December 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM

        Nice! I love how generous gardening can be! This year I planted beans from last year’s seeds and I have oodles of kale seeds. I have a tiny garden so I am completely envious of your nut tree forest!! :)

  11. girlichef (@girlichef) said, on December 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Mmmmm…this sounds awesome. I’d never imagined sage in pesto, but now I really want to try it. And I like it w/ the hazelnuts, as well. The whole thing looks wonderful.

  12. Ren Behan (@RenBehan) said, on December 15, 2012 at 5:16 AM

    Cute! WIll look out for a cutter like this, the kids would love it!

  13. @Lavender and Lovage (@KarenBurnsBooth) said, on December 29, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    FABULOUS entry into Herbs on Saturday! THANKS so much! Karen

  14. [...] Hazelnut-Roasted Delicata Squash with Hazelnut-Sage Pesto by Janet at Taste Space: ” You actually don’t need cups of sage to make this pesto. Instead sage is buffered with mild baby spinach to create a garlicky spread. Instead of pine nuts, I used toasted hazelnuts and hazelnut oil to flavour this winter pesto. The nutritional yeast adds the traditional cheesy taste but feel free to omit it. I chose to serve it with hazelnut-roasted delicata squash rings….  Later in the week, I liked it smeared inside a green wrap (with a nod to my simple hazelnut-roasted squash, avocado and cucumber wrap).” [...]

  15. [...] 8. Hazelnut-Roasted Delicata Squash with Hazelnut-Sage Pesto [...]

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  17. Fearless Kitchen said, on January 10, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    This looks delicious! I can’t get enough sage, and this is a really creative use of my favorite herb.

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  20. […] tastespace.wordpress.com […]


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