You miiiight have noticed by now that Birchbox staffers have an ever-so-slight obsession with food—from colorful veggies and delicious smoothies to festive cookies and fun cocktails. That’s why we’ve enlisted our in-house kitchen geek Nicole to share her cooking tips every week: seasonal ingredients, nifty tools, and must-try recipes.
Every few weeks, there’s a moment when my kitchen is full of ingredients I have to use, like now, or forever hold my (cooking) peace. Recently, I found myself on a recon mission trying to make the most of the dregs of my fridge.
I had an acorn squash that I had picked up at the farmer’s market and then promptly forgotten. Luckily, the lasting nature of squash really lends itself to abandonment by the home cook so it was still in good condition. I also had fresh pasta that had been wasting away in my freezer, and bitter greens that needed to be eaten asap. Not to mention some leftover feta that wouldn’t make it until the end of the week.
Others would have thrown in the towel and ordered in but I saw my almost-barren fridge as an opportunity to get creative. In addition to my squad of misfit ingredients, I also had garlic and almond slivers on hand (as always). I came up with a pretty delicious combination: bitter broccoli rabe, salty feta, and crunchy almonds pair perfectly with roasted squash and al dente pasta.
The day—and dinner—was saved and I’ve got a recipe worth repeating.
Roasted Acorn Squash and Broccoli Rabe with Feta and Almonds over Bowties
Serves: Two hungry people
1 small (1 pound) acorn squash, roasted (see roasting instructions below)
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5 cups washed and chopped broccoli rabe
1/3 cup toasted almond slivers
1.5 cups pasta (your favorite variety, dry or fresh)
1/3 cup feta
To roast the acorn squash:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Chop off the stem, slice the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds.
Slice into small, manageable pieces, coat the pieces in extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 30 minutes, turning once.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
To toast the almonds, heat them in a sauté pan over medium heat. It will only take 2-3 minutes, turning once, so make sure they don’t burn! Take them out of the pan when golden brown and set aside.
When the squash is out of the oven and cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the skins and set aside with almonds.
Heat olive oil in the sauté pan, and add garlic. After about a minute, add the broccoli rabe. Salt and pepper to taste. Sauté about 2 minutes. Add the scooped roasted squash and toasted almonds into the mix. Stir for a minute and turn off the heat.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions in generously salted water. When tender, add the cooked pasta to the sauté pan and stir in feta. Reserve a little pasta water if you want your dish more liquid-y, and feel free to add a splash of olive oil and salt to taste.
When we’re not thinking about food, we’re probably thinking about world peace. Or maybe nail art. Get our latest mani ideas here.