Sadly winter squash season has come to a close, but I managed to snag a few butternuts from the dwindling supply at my local market a few weeks ago. These guys hold up pretty well, so I squeezed a few more recipes out of them, one being this utterly divine white bean and butternut squash ragout.
If you’re skeptical that completely vegetarian meals can be described as “divine” you just gotta trust. In real life land, this is the kind of dinner I plop down in front of Cameron that earns me the “look” – the raised-eyebrow-skeptical-smirk face that says “Where’s the meat babe?” As evidenced by his empty plate 20 minutes later, however, he loved it and you will too.
Not only is this white bean and butternut squash ragout super filling and surprisingly rich, it’s packed with seasonal vegetables and therefore tons of nutrition. A classic “eat the winter rainbow” meal. The beans add protein and bulk, so a little goes a long way. Full, happy bellies await.
So What’s Ragout Anyhow?
Ragu…ragout…tomato…toh-mato? Not exactly. Same pronunciation, similar but different stuff. In a nutshell, ragu is sauce, and ragout is stew. At the end of the day, ragout can stand on its own (although it’s traditionally served over some sort of starch, like crusty bread, polenta, pasta, etc.).
White Bean and Butternut Squash Ragout Recipe Notes
Let the customization begin! Feel free to swap kale for the chard, or even spinach. If using the later, toss it in at the end as spinach doesn’t need anywhere near the cooking time that chard or kale require. Swap any mushroom of your heart’s desire for the button mushrooms, but know that you’ll get a slightly more woodsy taste from some of the wild varietals.
I had a bag of cornmeal left-over from a client photo shoot. Not wanting to let it sit around and collect mites, I whipped up some polenta as a base. If you’re pressed for time, this would be terrific served over toasted slices of sourdough or rice. For a grain-free option, experiment with riced or pureed cauliflower.
- 2 tbsp butter or avocado oil
- 8 oz. button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ c. dry white wine
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced into ½" cubes
- ½ bunch chard, stems removed, thinly sliced into ribbons
- 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped, plus additional for serving
- ½ c. chicken bone or vegetable broth
- 1½ c. white beans (or 1 can)
- sea salt, to taste
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- shaved parmesan, for serving (optional)
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat until it foams. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and sauté until browned and crisp around the edges, 10-12 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- If the pan needs it, add a bit more butter (1-2 tsp) and heat until foaming. Add the sweet onion and sauté until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Push aside the onions in the center of the pan and add the garlic. Sauté until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Deglaze the onions and garlic with white wine, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan, stirring until the wine stops bubbling, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the butternut squash, chard, and sage to the pan and toss to coat in the pan juices. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and pour in the broth. Cover and cook until the squash is barely fork tender, 15 minutes.
- Stir in the white beans and cooked mushrooms and cook until warmed through, 6-8 more minutes.
- Serve immediately over your base of choice (polenta, crusty bread, rice, pasta, etc.) or alone, and garnish with additional fresh sage and shaved parmesan if desired.
Make it vegan/vegetarian. Use vegetable broth and omit the parmesan.