Butternut Squash Red Curry with Roasted Pistachio
Although available year round, eating butternut squash definitely reminds me of the Fall. Maybe it’s the orange pumpkin color or the gourd-like appearance that reinforce that feeling of the season or perhaps the warmth and satisfaction felt when eating it is indicative of weather becoming cooler as the leaves start to fall.
The simplicity of this dish screams for use as a weekday meal as the total cook time is less than half an hour and from a cost perspective, one squash can easily feed a family of four for under $10.
The star of the show here is the squash which many would wrongly consider to be a vegetable but in actuality is a fruit.
Butternut squash, like other fruits bearing its bright, orange sheen, is sweet and versatile and can be used in soups and stews or as a puree. I’ve even had it transformed into a coconut ice cream which perhaps I’ll test out and write about another time.
This delicious orange fruit is a heavy hitter in concentration of Vitamin A. I’m talking 4-5 times the daily suggested amount per day in each serving! Vitamin A is fat-soluble and works wonders for your immune system.
To make this quick curry, I’m going to be using a pre-made red curry paste. The most readily available product on the market is the Thai Kitchen brand which you can find in just about every major grocery store chain. While I have included curry paste recipes in other dish recipes, I also like to use pre made to save time and also if I don’t have all the ingredients on hand like lemongrass or lime peel. This paste does mesh with chilis but it’s very mild.
- 1 butternut squash (peeled, seeded and cut into one-inch dice)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup chopped shallots (you can use onion also but I like the flavor of shallots in this dish)
- 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 Tbsp chopped ginger
- 3 Tbsp Thai Kitchen Red Curry paste
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 – 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock (depending on if you want it to be vegetarian)
- 2-3 Tbsp fish sauce (you can use salt or liquid aminos if you want it to be vegetarian)
- 2 limes (juiced and zested)
- 1/2 c pistachios (roasted and chopped)
- Cilantro for garnish
You’ll need a large large saute pan or wok.
Heat your pan and add the oil on medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add your shallots or onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until the start to become translucent. Add the ginger and cook for about a minute and then add the garlic. Cook until fragrant.
Add the curry paste and fry for about a minute before adding the diced butternut squash. Stir well to incorporate and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook until the squash is tender.
If the sauce is too thick, add some stock to thin it out. If the sauce is too thin, you can strain out the squash so it doesn’t overcook and then reduce the coconut milk to the desired consistency. I like the sauce to be nice and thick, almost the consistency of heavy cream.
Remove from heat and add in the fish sauce or salt and stir in the lime juice and zest to taste. You can adjust the seasoning to your personal preference.
You can serve this curry alongside steamed rice or on top of noodles.
Roughly chop your roasted pistachio and top the curry with the nuts and cilantro. Give the dish another squeeze of lime juice on top and serve.