Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chickpea, Butternut Squash, & Sausage Saute (City Girl Stew)

So I'm sure you're thinking that a post about stew in the middle of summer seems strange. Especially when the above pictured "stew" resembles nothing of what it's namesake traditionally suggests. But you know, this is city girl food, so I can call it stew if I want to. Besides, I assure you the strangest thing about this recipe is that I willingly and purposefully cooked with and ate butternut squash. Which as a notoriously picky eater and self proclaimed hater of all things squash, is a pretty big deal.

But when I get an idea in my head and am craving something different, crazy things happen. Honestly, I've been curious about butternut squash for a while. Restaurants seem to love putting it in ravioli with yummy sounding sauces like browned butter with crispy sage leaves, and on more than one occasion I've felt like I might be missing out because of my wanton disdain for an entire vegetable family. I mean, we all know that zucchini and summer squash are utterly disgusting and not to be eaten unless absolutely necessary. But butternut is clearly different with it's firm texture and gorgeous orange hue. I figured it was time I start acting like a foodie, and at least give it a try.

And lo and behold, I didn't hate it! On the contrary, I rather liked a lot, and this was in fact, one of those rare occasions when I conjured up an original recipe that turned out to be spectacularly amazing. I'm talking it was so amazing, I want Marcus Samuelsson to put this on his menu at Red Rooster.

OK, maybe wasn't that amazing. But then again, there is olive oil, butter, and Italian Sausage providing the fat/flavor base, so I might not be that far off my rocker #fatisflavor #Imjustsaying. In either event, a girl can dream.

And we all know what happens when one dares to dream...

¡Buen Apetito!

City Girl Stew
Print This Recipe

5 Hot Italian Sausage Links, roughly chopped
2 Cans Chickpeas
1 Bunch Collard Greens, sliced into 1 inch thick ribbons, ribs included
1 Medium Butternut Squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Large Onion, chopped in eights
2 Cloves Garlic, Smashed
2 Tsp Garam Masala
2 Tsp Hot Paprika
2 Tsp Hot Red Pepper Flakes
2 Sprigs Thyme
2 Tbsp Butter (unsalted)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Heat Butter and olive oil in large skillet or crock pot (enamel covered cast iron) over medium high heat. Brown sausage pieces in butter about 3 minutes each side. Remove from heat, set aside.

Reduce heat to medium, add squash, onion and garlic, garam masala, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Saute until squash is semi-fork tender, about 12-15 minutes.

Add chickpeas with water from can, collards, and sausage pieces. Mix to combine thoroughly, saute another 5-7 minutes until squash is fork tender and sausage is cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve and enjoy. It's one of those soul warming dishes, best if shared. And don't forget the wine. Wine makes everything that much better.

*While tomato paste is clearly pictured, I decided I didn't want to risk it's acidity overpowering the recipe. 


  1. This looks delicious and I am glad you are putting your foodie hat on and trying new things! Up next Foie gras. I am pretty excited Mr Samuelsson is coming to Boston this weekend...I may head out to Whole Foods and stalk him (and I use this term jokingly, haha) at the book signing. I'll keep you posted.

  2.  Ok, I promise to try foi gras. I have a friend who lives outside of Lyon, so as soon as I get the chance, I'll go right to the source and venture into the side of French food that scares me, lol. And yeah, Mr. Samuelsson is in DC tonight, but I already have a prior engagement, or I would soooo be there.

  3. Passing along a blog award today:

  4. One of my favorite veggie dishes is red curry butternut squash--I think you might enjoy it.  I'm picky when it comes to eating vegetables and this dish is a good way for me to sneak extra ones in, because it's so flavorful.

  5.  Oh my, that does look delicious! I really must get more vegetables in my life, now that I'm waitressing all I eat is meat and cheese and it's killing me!

  6. I'm pretty awful when it comes to trying new things, but that does look yummy! 

  7.  It's definitely good to branch out, so long as there's no mayonnaise involved, I'm willing to more new things :)

  8. that recipe of combining butternut squash with chickpeas somewhat sounds like a recipe we cook here in Bengal, called "Kumror Chhawkka" that basically is a dish made of stir-fried butternut squashes and a tiny bit of split peas. And a lot of masalas. But yeah, we don't generally mix it with sausages and onions.



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