This year for Thanksgiving, I stayed in Madison to avoid taking time off from work. I spent all morning cooking with my friend Matt at his apartment, and then went to Thanksgiving dinner at my friend Isaac’s house. Originally, I had planned to bring roasted cauliflower and butternut squash as a side dish for my contribution to the meal. While I was grabbing the butternut squash at the store, I saw chestnuts and I decided I’d add those to the dish.
- 2 medium butternut squash
- 2 medium cauliflower heads
- ~20 chestnuts
- Olive oil
- Adobo seasoning
- Lemon pepper
- Chile powder
- Pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 400° F
- Prepare spice mix. I used a decent amount of Adobo seasoning, slightly less lemon pepper, a small amount of paprika, a decent amount of chile powder, and a decent amount of pepper flakes that I made from lemon drop peppers that I grew in my garden this summer. Feel free to experiment with the spices that you use and their quantities.
- Wash and chop up the cauliflower to roughly bite-sized pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl, and add olive oil and spices. I used enough olive oil to coat all of the cauliflower, and used half of the spice mix.
- Peel butternut squash and chop into 1″ cube pieces. Place into a large mixing bowl, and add olive oil to coat all of the butternut squash and mix in the remaining spices.
- Spread the vegetables onto baking pans and roast in the oven. See notes below for details.
- While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the chestnuts. Cut an X into the side of every chestnut, then roast in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- When the vegetables are done roasting, remove them from the oven and set aside.
- When the chestnuts are done roasting, remove them from the oven and let them cool down. I live in Wisconsin, so I brought them outside and they cooled off in less than 5 minutes. Once cool, peel off the shells and skin and chop the chestnut into 4 pieces
- Mix the vegetables and chestnuts together and place in a serving pan.
Notes and Tips
- I roasted the cauliflower and butternut squash separately. I roasted the cauliflower while I chopped up the butternut squash. I didn’t set a timer, but I checked on the vegetables approximately an hour after putting them in and tasted for seasonings. The total cook time was around an hour and a half.
- If you’re not sure how much seasoning to use, start small. Taste your food and keep adding more seasoning until it tastes good.
- If you’re not sure how long to roast vegetables, go by how they look and taste, not by a timer. I started checking my vegetables after 45 minutes and then checked on them about every 10 minutes after that until I decided they were done.
- I cut the chestnuts in half when I made this for Thanksgiving. I think that if they had been cut into quarters at the largest it would have improved the dish.