It is definitely winter here in the city, it is cold and makes you instantly think of comfort. The entire walk home from Bart, I thought about what sort of comfort food I could make with what little food is in our house. On nights like these I am happy making a warm, simple, and comforting meal for us to linger over.
I have had this butternut squash sitting on the counter for almost a month now, just waiting to be eaten. I was amazed when I sliced it open, how there were hardly any seeds and how vibrant the color was. The shade of orange was so intense that it was almost tempting not to cook it and definitely not to overcook it! While I sauteed some shallots and garlic with a bit of olive oil, I plainly seasoned a Pork Loin roast with salt and pepper and slipped it into the oven. After, the shallots and garlic were soft and slightly golden I added the chunks of butternut squash and cooked them until they began to caramelize.
By this time the roast was starting to brown and the scent from the oven with the sweetness of the shallots and butternut squash mingled throughout the house. After the butternut squash was caramelized I covered the pan with a lid, turned off the stove and let it continue to cook and steam until tender. By the time the roast was finished the butternut squash was perfectly cooked.
As I was plating the dinner I remembered that it was time for Andrea’s GYO (Grow Your Own) Event and I really wanted to participate on a regular basis. As well I remembered that the French Thyme had survived (the only herb that did) the cold our garden had encountered over the holidays. So I went out, picked some, gently washed the leaves and then turned the heat back onto high and scattered the lightly crushed Thyme leaves into the pan with the squash; I only left the heat on for a minute, enough time to heat through and release the oils from the fresh herbs.
The final result was a tenderly moist Pork Loin served with Harissa sauce and slightly sweet Butternut Squash – simple, full of flavor and a fantastic meal for a cozy night in with the one you love!