Should I toast the pistachios?
"No, Annie, do not toast the pistachios first. You must use them raw."
Do I boil them?
"Only to remove the skin."
"No. Just salt, good olive oil, pepper, nothing more."
Pistachios occupy a special place in every Sicilian's heart. I followed Giuseppe's recipe verbatim — grazie Giuseppe!— but I added some fresh sage. Because: Thanksgiving. Sage. Right?
This was my lunch today: wedges of butternut squash roasted until they were caramelized and sweet, topped with Giuseppe's pistachio (and sage) pesto, and lots of — you guessed it — spicy wasabi microgreens. I had to hide the rest of the pistachio pesto from myself in the back of the fridge so that I wouldn't eat it all before Thanksgiving.
This year I'm putting my stuffing in a cheesecloth bag, warming it in the microwave (so it doesn't cool down the bird), and placing it in the bird's cavity (so it has access to all those juices). Then, just like a magic trick, while the bird is resting I'll pull the bag out and place it in a warming pan. What do you think? I'll let you know how it goes.
I'm trying out a roux-less method of making gravy that I learned about on the Bon Appetit podcast. And I'll have to find an excuse to make Miso Caramel — maybe some pumpkin doughnuts? Or an apple frangipane tart?
To read more about Vertical Harvest, Jackson's 3-story 13,500 square foot hydroponic vertical greenhouse, built on the side of a parking garage, check out this post I did when they first opened last spring: First Taste of Vertical Harvest.
Read here to learn more about Vertical Harvest's mission to employ disabled adults in our community.
For more ideas on what to make for the big feast on Thursday, take a dip into the archives of Thanksgiving past:
Thanksgiving: Out of the Box
Early Bird Thanksgiving
And be sure to make my favorite Sopa de Lima soup from the Yucatan with the leftover turkey.
If you are cooking with microgreens this holiday season, I would love to hear what you are making! Have a wonderful, cozy, tasty Thanksgiving, friends.
Caramelized Butternut Squash Wedges with Pistachio Sage Pesto and Wasabi Microgreens
One recipe serves 6 as a side dish and is easily doubled. There will be extra pistachio pesto — use within 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
1 medium butternut squash
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
For the pistachio pesto:
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons honey (optional)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1-ounce container of wasabi (or other variety) microgreens, snipped off with scissors above the root, washed and spun or blotted dry
- Preheat the oven to 500ºF and place a rack on the lowest level. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
- Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and peel off the skin with a sharp knife. Cut into 1/2-inch wedges.
- Toss the squash in a bowl with the olive oil, sugar, salt, and cayenne. Place the wedges on the baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 10-15 minutes until caramelized. Flip the pieces over and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the squash is browned and easily pierced with a knife.
- Make the pesto: Place pistachio, garlic, sage and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until a paste begins to form. Pour olive oil in a steady stream while the motor is running. Taste, adjust for salt and pepper, and add honey if desired.
- To serve, place butternut squash wedges on a platter, top with dollops of pistachio pesto, and scatter with microgreens.