Have some extra sage to use up? Apply the classic steakhouse butter-basting technique to slabs of butternut squash and turn it into a hearty vegetarian main dish.
1 large butternut squash (about 3 lb.), preferably one with a long thick neck
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 sage leaves
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Cut the neck off of squash; reserve base for another use. Trim the stem off the neck then peel. Resting neck on cut base, cut in half lengthwise, creating two lobes. Trim off outer rounded side of each piece to create two 3/4″-thick steaks (about 6 oz. per steak); reserve trimmed off sides for another use.
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium. Cook squash steaks, turning every 3 minutes, until deeply browned on both sides and fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Add butter, sage, and garlic to skillet, tilt pan toward you so that butter pools on one side, and use a large spoon to continually baste steaks with butter. Cook, basting, until butter is no longer bubbling, smells nutty, and is beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.
Transfer squash steaks to plates and spoon sauce over.
5 to 6 cups Chicken Stock or 5 to 6 cups purchased organic chicken broth
2 crustless slices fresh whole grain wheat bread, torn
4 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
Melt butter with oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, parsley, and sage; sauté until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add squash and coarse salt; sauté until squash softens and onions are golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add 5 cups stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until squash is very soft, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender, allowing some texture to remain. Return soup to pot. Thin with stock, if desired. Season with pepper and more salt, if desired. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.
Place bread in processor; blend until fine crumbs form but some slightly coarser crumbs remain. Cook butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and sage. Cook until crumbs are crisp, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand uncovered at room temperature.
1 1/4 cups hot Homemade Turkey Stock or canned turkey stock, plus 1/2 cup more if baking all of stuffing outside of turkey
See how to dry your AeroGarden Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme here:
In 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderate heat, heat butter until hot but not smoking. Stir in onion and celery, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. (Vegetables can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat before continuing: In 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderately high heat, sauté, stirring often, until heated through, about 5 minutes.)
Transfer to large bowl and add stuffing cubes, parsley, celery salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir in 1 1/4 cups hot stock.
If using to stuff turkey: Use immediately to fill cavities and spread remainder in baking dish as directed in recipe .
If baking entire recipe as side dish: Preheat oven to 350°F and butter 3-quart casserole or 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Transfer stuffing to dish and drizzle with 1/2 cup hot stock. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.
Sausage and Sage Stuffing: In large, heavy skillet over moderate heat, sauté 1 pound bulk pork sausage, breaking up pieces with spoon, until meat shows no sign of pink, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to large bowl. Proceed with recipe, adding ingredients to bowl with sausage and substituting 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage for dried rosemary and sage.
Dried Apricot and Pecan Stuffing: Dried fruit are better than fresh in stuffing because the latter get soggy with long baking. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans on rimmed baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Cool and coarsely chop. In medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups diced dried apricots and hot water to cover. Soak until apricots plump, about 30 minutes, then drain well. Proceed with recipe, tossing apricots and pecans with other ingredients in large bowl.
•Warm, moist stuffing is an optimal environment for bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli to multiply, so it’s important to follow safe procedures. Be sure to make the stuffing at the last minute so it can go into the bird warm. This helps it move above the “danger zone” (the optimal temperature range for bacteria growth) more quickly during roasting. Stuffing baked outside of the turkey can be spread in the baking dish and refrigerated for a few hours while the turkey roasts, but it should be made on the same day as baking.
•Stuffing baked outside of the turkey won’t be soaked in the turkey’s juices, so extra stock is drizzled on top to keep it moist.
Rub first 6 ingredients in small bowl to crush herbs finely. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; store at room temperature. Stir in peel before using.
Rinse turkey inside and out (do not pat dry). Pull any fat pads from main cavity and neck cavity of turkey; wrap, chill, and reserve fat for roasting. Place turkey in roasting bag; sprinkle inside and out with herbed salt. Close bag. Place on baking sheet; refrigerate 18 to 24 hours.
Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 325°F. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat very dry. Stir chopped onion and next 5 ingredients in small bowl. Divide onion mixture between main and neck cavities. Fold neck skin under and secure with skewer. Tuck wing tips under. Tie legs together loosely. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Spread butter all over turkey. Place reserved fat pads and reserved neck, heart, and gizzard in pan; pour in 2 cups Golden Turkey Stock.
Roast turkey 45 minutes. Baste with pan juices. Continue to roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F to 170°F, basting every 45 minutes, adding stock or water to pan if dry, and tenting loosely with foil if browning too quickly, 3 to 3 1/2 hours longer. Transfer turkey to platter; tent very loosely with foil and let rest 30 to 45 minutes. Reserve roasting pan with juices for gravy.
Remove turkey neck, heart, and gizzard from roasting pan. Pull meat off neck; chop neck meat, heart, and gizzard and reserve for gravy, if desired. Pour pan juices into 8-cup measuring cup. Spoon off fat from surface, reserving 1/2 cup fat. Add enough turkey stock to degreased pan juices to measure 5 1/2 cups total.
Place roasting pan over 2 burners on medium heat. Add 1/2 cup reserved fat and shallots; sauté 1 minute. Whisk in flour. Cook until roux is light brown, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Whisk in wine, stock mixture, mustard, and fresh rosemary. Bring to boil, whisking to blend. Boil until gravy coats spoon, about 3 minutes. Add neck, heart, and gizzard, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
Looking for a healthy way to stay hydrated? Take out the sugars, syrups, or artificial flavors and naturally flavor your water instead! You can add fruits, veggies, and herbs you’re already growing in your AeroGarden to make basic H20 more exciting. Here are a few ideas for some delicious flavors…
Strawberry-Cucumber: This is quite a refreshing infusion. Use strawberries grown in an AeroGarden Grow Bowl for that fresh taste.
Tomato-Basil Water: Veggie infusions are the perfect way to achieve healthy hydration. Plus you can use garden-fresh tomatoes and basil from your AeroGarden.
Pineapple-Mint Water: Looking for a tropical flavor? Pineapple and mint are sure to satisfy your taste buds.
Watermelon-Rosemary: This sweet combo will add plenty of color to your drink. And you can take rosemary from your AeroGarden!
Blackberry-Sage: This sage infusion has a perfect subtle, refreshing flavor.
Infusion Tips: There is no single “correct” way of infusing fruits, veggies and herbs into your water. Just fill a pitcher or large glass with your favorite ingredients and let it sit for a few hours. You can muddle your ingredients for a stronger flavor. Infused water stays good for about two to three days and you can always top off your water. After a few days, start again with fresh ingredients!