New Organic Rooibos and Butternut Squash

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Mine? It’s coming in nicely, thanks for asking! The tomatoes are ripening on the vine. Cucumbers, zucchini, and eggplant have already produced some yummy meals. The corn is over

Ready to go in the oven!

knee-high, and the pumpkin plants are blossoming beautifully. I’m hoping that the mysterious squash plants that sprouted after I used compost from the bin will turn out to be butternut squash. It remains a mystery however.

I’m hoping for butternut squash though. I love squash and I’ve got this great new recipe that couples rooibos tea and butternut squash to make a dramatic side for any meal. I’ll get to that in a minute.

First, I want to tell you about the tea you could use. Compassion Tea has just introduced 4 new rooibos teas. They’re organic and produced in South Africa using herbs and spices from that area.

The Lavender Sage Rooibos takes me back to that morning about 10 years ago when I was the first one up on the boat. We were moored off a small Greek isle in the Aegean Sea and as I climbed out of the cockpit and viewed the craggy hills around me I was overcome with a sense of peace. Those hills were covered in sage and lavender and as they baked in the intense morning sun, those two scents warmed the air. It was aromatherapy in its most natural form! Add the sounds of goats and cowbells and you have created my perfect place.

The Jasmine Vanilla Rooibos is sweet, breezy, and cooling… almost like a puff of air wafting through a stunning California garden full of jasmine. Very uplifting!

Then there is Lemon Mint. A few years ago I came across a hand lotion that combined lemon, cucumber, and mint. I couldn’t get enough of it and started buying body wash and shampoo with the same scent. About the same time, I went to a restaurant and was served water from a pitcher full of lemon, cucumber, and mint. So refreshing! It must have been the vogue combination at the time. But, it certainly is a lasting combination. I still flavor water in this way! Now, Compassion Tea is introducing its version of the combination. Ice it and imagine beautiful fountains of crystal clear water dancing in your mouth!

The fourth of the new teas is perfect for my butternut squash recipe! Called Spicy Rooibos,

After the squash has baked for about 25 minutes, snip fresh chives over the top and enjoy!

it combines chai spices, South African peri-peri chilies, and cocoa nibs with the caffeine-free rooibos leaves. Sha-zaam! The flavors burst over your tongue warm and rich. This tea has the potential to become your favorite, as it has become mine! Infuse it with butter and drizzle it over sweet potatoes or butternut squash and you’ve got flavor galore!

So, back to that recipe. Here’s what you’ll need.

3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. + 1 ½ tsp. rooibos tea leaves
2 medium-large butternut squashes
Drizzle of olive oil for baking sheets
1 tsp. fine sea salt
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives

Fresh chives from the garden add the finishing touch.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp. tea. When the butter foams, remove from the heat, cover, and infuse for 10 minutes. Strain out the tea leaves from the butter through a fine sieve; discard the tea.

Cut off stems and seeded part of squash. Peel the necks and then slice into ½ in. slices. Place squash slices on lightly oiled baking sheets.

Grind remaining 1 ½ tsp. tea leaves in mortar and pestle and mix with salt.

Brush the squash with tea infused butter. I recommend Spicy Rooibos Compassion Tea!

Brush butter onto tops of squash, season with pepper and rooibos salt. Bake until soft, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and tuck in!

(adapted from Sunset Magazine, February 2012)

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1 Comment

  1. Great idea. My wife and I just discovered Rooibos a few months ago but we’ve never thought of cookign with it 🙂


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