Butternut Squash Mac & Gruyere; Quick Pickled Carrots

I don’t really like doing this, but my first recipe tonight is going to call for another recipe from a cookbook, which I’m not going to publish. However, I know a lot of you have Artisan Vegan Cheese (which I am loving), and if you don’t, you can just substitute some other cashew-based, creamy “cheese”. This dish was inspired by a couple of butternut squashes I got before the farmers market closed for the season…and the soft “gruyere” from Artisan Vegan Cheese I had to find a use for.

Butternut Squash Mac & Gruyere

10 oz pasta shaped appropriately for macaroni & cheese
1 small butternut squash
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup vegan broth
1/2 cup soft gruyere from Artisan Vegan Cheese, or some other creamy cashew-based “cheese”

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the pasta to al dente, drain, and set aside.

Peel and chop the squash into bite-sized pieces. To peel the squash, chop off a little off both ends, stand it up bulbous side down, and carefully slice in half lengthwise. Remove and reserve the seeds. Use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the squash. Slice it, then cut into cubes. Toss the pieces with a little olive oil and roast until soft, about half an hour. Remove from oven and set aside. TIP: put the seeds on a small pan, lightly salt them, and roast them as well for about 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned and crunchy. Let cool and eat them up, or reserve for garnishing the mac & gruyere.

Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, then whisk in the flour, nutritional yeast, onion and garlic powders, salt, and nutmeg. Cook for a minute or two, then whisk in the broth. Continue whisking as it thickens, then stir in the “gruyere” or other cashew cheese. Stir until well-mixed and thick.

Combine the squash and pasta in a baking dish, then stir in the cheese mixture. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

If desired, sprinkle with the roasted squash seeds. Alternatively, you could top the casserole with bread crumbs before baking. This was creamy and yummy and pairs well with greens and anything that’s smothered in barbecue sauce.

Now, a bonus recipe since I kind of cheated you in that one, although I’ve just stolen this one from David Lebovitz, who got it from Epicurious.

Quick Pickled Carrots

1 lb baby carrots (or regular carrots, peeled and cut into sticks)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
1 1/2 Tbsp coarse salt
1 1/2 tsp dill seeds
2 bay leaves

Bring a pot of water to boiling and blanch the carrots by cooking them for one minute, then draining and running cold water over them. Place all of the remaining ingredients into a sauce pot and bring them to a boil, then simmer for a couple of minutes. Place the carrots in a quart canning jar and pour the liquid over them. Let them cool to room temperature, then put a lid on them and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating. (If you don’t have a canning jar, cool the carrots in the liquid in the pot before transferring to another container.)

It’s hard to make these look very exciting, but they are fun and tasty. I’ll be having them on the side of most of my dinners for a while.

The weather in Northern Virginia was gorgeous this weekend, so today found me at one of my regular haunts, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I think this is a mockingbird, but I’m a little unsure because his wings seem a little too rounded. Please correct me if I’m wrong!

Eastern bluebird:

Cedar waxwing:

Circumhorizon arc in the clouds:

Time to go home!

2 Comments »

  1. Josiane Said,

    November 12, 2012 @ 1:24 am

    I was recommending your quick pickled radishes to a friend on Twitter just a few minutes ago, and now I find these quick pickled carrots here… clearly, I need to get pickling soon, or I will have to deal with terrible pickle cravings!
    Seriously, those pickled carrots could become a much-loved staple around here. My gentleman friend used to eat lots of carrot sticks with his lunch, until he became allergic to raw carrots. Those, being blanched and pickled, might be just the thing for him to be able to enjoy crunchy carrots as a side again!

  2. Jes Said,

    November 12, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

    I’ve been meaning to grab a copy of Artisanal Vegan Cheese for awhile now–for that gruyere I’m even more wanting a copy. I love butternut mac and cheeses, this one looks really good!

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