Red curry paste and Thai basil put a fresh spin on butternut squash.
For the past month or so, my neighbors have probably wondered what the weird glow coming through my front window is. Despite what it might look like, an alien spaceship hasn’t actually landed in my dining room… it’s just the glow of the AeroGarden ULTRA that I’ve been using to grow basil. I’ve wanted an Aerogarden for forever, so when KitchenPLAY asked me if I’d like to try one out and create a holiday side dish with what I grow, of course I said yes. And now I’m kicking myself for not buying one years ago.
This thing is just too cool! I mean, we’re snowed in but I just harvested fresh basil for tonight’s dinner. What’s not to love? I love the idea of growing my own food, but I’m not the gardening type. At all. I hate digging in the dirt more than just about anything (and yes, I scream at the site of worms. I don’t fish either.) I’m terrible about remembering to do things like water plants. I can usually manage to keep a few small pots of herbs alive for a month or so each summer, but that’s as good as it gets. The AeroGarden makes things pretty fool-proof though. The light is on a timer, so the plants get exactly the amount that they need (and it adjusts depending on what you’re growing). An LED screen flashes reminders when it’s time to add water or nutrients. And – best of all – there’s no dirt.
My only complaint is that it throws off a ton of light and, at least for the basil that I have in there now, it’s on for about 15 hours each day. I had originally hoped to keep it in the living room, but it made the room too bright when we wanted to watch TV or a movie so I had to find another place for it. Since your plants start from seeds (not starter plants like I’m used to), you also have to be patient – it took a full month for my plants to get big enough to use. Now, they’re huge though and I pretty much have an infinite supply of basil.
The basil kit that I have grows six different varieties of basil. Did you even know there were that many?! I was most excited about the Thai basil, since it’s one of my favorites but is next-to-impossible to find at our grocery store. Once in a while I luck out, but it’s not something I can plan on.
I added the basil to butternut squash that I seasoned with red curry paste and a splash of coconut milk. The curry paste adds a touch of heat to balance out the squash’s sweetness; the basil adds brightness and keeps the dish feeling nice and fresh. The Thai flavors are subtle, so you can easily serve it with your holiday ham or turkey and more traditional sides. It’s a really nice way to jazz up your squash!
- 1 small butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar
- ⅓ cup Thai basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Peel the butternut squash and discard the seeds. Cut the flesh into ½-inch pieces. You should have about 2 cups of squash.
- Add the olive oil to a skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion; cook 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the squash; cook 5 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Pour in the water; cook 10 minutes or until the squash is soft and the water has cooked off.
- In a small dish, stir together the coconut milk, curry paste, and brown sugar. Pour over the squash, stirring so it's evenly coated. Cook 1 minute. Add the basil and cook until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce.
This post was sponsored by AeroGarden and Kitchen PLAY. Be sure to swing by their page to see a whole holiday menu featuring fresh basil.
AeroGrow will be running its ‘12 Days of Deals’ for the holidays with discounts and special bundles for the season. Plus, get up to 20% on everything storewide when using promo code ‘Holiday20’ in the shopping cart at checkout.