BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SAUSAGE WITH FRIED SAGE APPETIZER
THIS BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SAUSAGE RECIPE IS: PALEO, PRIMAL, LOW CARB, GLUTEN FREE AND WHEAT BELLY FRIENDLY.
I love birthday parties. Who doesn’t love a birthday? For Caroline’s 35th birthday, she asked me to create all paleo small plates for the party. I didn’t tell her at the time, but I thought that it was 1) A super cool request. 2) A very hard request. 3) An awesome challenge. After brainstorming for a while, the game plan was set. For this dinner party I would par cook each course and finish it in real time in front of our guests.
The scariest part was logistics: Caroline’s birthday was on a Friday and she gave me the request on Wednesday night. It didn’t give much time for recipe creation, shopping, par cooking and course preparation. The first step for me was to come up with a theme for the meal. Paleo isn’t really a theme but a cooking style. As I was looking around my kitchen I saw pumpkins, 5 or 6 different kinds of squash and fresh parsnips. The theme would be a celebration of fall.
Here’s the course list:
• Roasted Butternut Squash and Sausage with Fried Sage Leaf
• Spaghetti Squash Carbonara with Roasted Root Veggies & Pesto
• Honey Goat Cheese, Blueberries & Brown Butter Walnuts over Baby Greens
• Stuffed Mini Peppers with Roasted Pumpkin Seed and Scallion Puree
• Paleo Shrimp & Cauli-Grits with Smoked Rib Meat
The recipe for butternut squash and sausage appetizers was more of an amuse bouche than a true appetizer, but boy did it taste good. I made a big batch of sage sausage mix and just formed mini patties out of it. The roasted butternut squash puree was stiff enough that it could be formed on top of the sausage.
QUICK COOKING TIP: Frying sage leaves is really easy and completely changes the flavor profile of the sage. Sage leaves are typically a super powerful herb that can overpower just about any recipe if not used sparingly. Once the sage is fried, it is mellow and delicious. To fry the sage, in a small frying pan heat about 1/4 cup olive oil. When it is shimmering, add the leaf and fry for 4-5 seconds. If you fry it too long it will brown. If the oil is too cool it will take longer to fry and the leaf won’t crisp very well. The smaller leaves are easier to fry too, but the big leaves can be broken into sections.
Let’s get to this awesome butternut squash and sausage amuse bouche.
PLEASE NOTE: The nutritional data is provided by NutriFox and may not be 100% accurate.
Final Thoughts on the Roasted Butternut Squash and Sausage Recipe:
Caroline thought that there was huge depth of flavor from the fattiness of the sausage. She said the sweetness of the butternut squash and the bright herbs just made it explode with flavor. Just incredible. Big smiles all around the room. After all the courses were done, this one rated either first or second for everyone. The fried sage was a huge favorite as well.
I was thrilled because everyone was happy. Most important was Caroline for her birthday. The first course was completed, now we moved onto the next. That will be in the next blog post.
Let me know your thoughts about this one- if you were at the party, please chime in!