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December 19, 2011

Caramelized Onion-Butternut Roast with Chestnuts

A dish perfect for the holidays

All Animals magazine

  • Angela Potter

Serves 6 to 8


1 pound (450g) onions, peeled and sliced thinly
1/3 cup (75ml) olive oil
1 pound (450g) chestnuts, fresh in the shell or frozen/jarred and pre-peeled
2 pounds (900g) butternut squash (1 medium-size squash), peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
1 15-ounce can (425g) white beans, such as cannellini or navy, drained and rinsed, or a 10-ounce package (280g) of prepared baby lima beans
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
freshly cracked pepper
1/2 cup (115ml) vegetable broth

Crumb topping

1/2 cup (115g) dry white bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
pinch of ground cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
freshly cracked pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C).

2. PREPARE THE CASSEROLE: Place the onions and olive oil in a 9-by-13-inch (23cm-by-33cm) baking dish, tossing to coat the onions with oil.

3. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring three or four times with a wooden spatula, until the onions are browned and sizzling. Remove from oven and set aside.

4. While onions are roasting, prepare whole, unpeeled chestnuts by making a small slit in the shell of each nut. Place the chestnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes at 425° F (220° C). Remove from oven and place chestnuts in a towel. Let them cool a bit, then tightly wrap the chestnuts and crush them to loosen their shells. Open the towel and peel. (If using pre-peeled chestnuts, skip this step and thaw if frozen, drain if jarred.) Coarsely chop peeled or thawed chestnuts and add to pan with roasted onions.

5. Add the diced butternut squash, white beans, thyme, coriander, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and broth to the baking pan, stirring so the chestnuts, squash, and beans are well coated. Tightly cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and bake for 35–45 minutes at 375° F (190° C), until the squash and chestnuts are tender.

6. PREPARE THE CRUMBS: Toss together the bread crumbs, oil, and sage in a bowl. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Remove the foil from the baking pan, top with the crumb mixture, and bake for another 15 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.

Serve with cranberry sauce and Brussels sprouts and enjoy!

This dish is best made with fresh chestnuts when they are in prime season, between October and January. During other times of year or to reduce prep time, use pre-peeled, frozen, or jarred chestnuts available during the fall and winter months.

Recipe courtesy of Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, authors of Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook


All figures are per serving (assumes eight servings)

Calories: 372
Fat: 12g
Sodium: 277mg
Carbs: 92g
Protein: 11g
Fiber: 11g

Read more from the Guide to Meat-Free Meals