As autumn takes root in New England, bright orange pumpkins, colorful speckled gourds and squashes fill the farm stand at Tangerini's Spring Street Farm in the small town of Millis, Massachusetts.
I am fortunate to participate in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program at Tangerini's. CSAs are programs in which the farmer offers "shares" of the farm for purchase to the local community in exchange for a weekly allotment of fresh produce.
Tangerini's offers several buy in options to their CSA program including a spring share, main share, winter share and deep winter share which allows shareholders to receive farm goods for just shy of the full calendar year. Thanks to rolling covered green houses, delicate plants still manage to grow during the chilly weather and CSA members can pick their own lettuce greens as early as late April.
Here the kale has been nourished with kelp and grows happily in the greenhouse.
Fall is my favorite time to visit the farm as the orange and red leaves fall from the big maple trees and the apples are bright red ripe and begging to be picked.
Despite the hard labor that working on the farm entails, there is a peaceful nostalgia that permeates the farm. Perhaps it's from the simplicity of getting eggs from a henhouse out in nature instead of in the hustle and bustle of an artificially lit grocery store.
Or perhaps it's simply hanging out with a billy goat for a few minutes.
But most of all, I love cooking up the fresh-as-can-be produce for my family. This autumn's harvest, we have been enjoying some caramelized roasted butternut squash.
Here's a recipe I would like to share with you!
Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Walnuts
Recipe by Kate Scarlata, RD, LDN
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and de-seeded, ends discarded.
1 Tablespoon melted butter (this helps the dish caramelize)
1½ Tbsp. olive oil
1½ Tbsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Dash of ginger
Dash of salt and pepper
⅓ cup fresh or dried cranberries, chopped
⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
⅓ cup goat cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly oil cookie sheet.
- Chop butternut squash into bite size chunks. Place squash in medium size bowl, add butter, olive oil, cinnamon and ginger. Add a dash of salt and pepper and stir to blend. Spread squash mixture out onto cookie sheet in even layer.
- Roast squash for about 30 minutes. With a spatula, turn squash for even roasting and add cranberries and walnuts to cookie sheet. Roast for another 10 minutes. Squash should be fork tender, not mushy. Garnish with goat cheese, if desired.