Rustic, Butternut



1/3 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons Madeira wine

2 tablespoons water

French Bread Cubes

1 pound loaf French bread

Olive oil

1 teaspoon onion

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt


Roasted Butternut Squash

1 small butternut squash


Parchment paper

8 ounces sweet Italian sausages (about 2) casings removed

Sauteed Vegetables

8 ounces white mushrooms, washed, patted dry and quartered

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped, fennel bulb

1 cup chopped, sweet onion

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 medium apple peeled, cored & chopped-honey crisp or similar

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 cup cubed butternut squash

1/2 cup halved pecans, toasted in oven at 400 degrees

3/4 teaspoon ground, dried sage

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Salt & pepper

4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) melted butter

2 cups unsalted chicken stock, room temp


Soak the dried cranberries in a small bowl with the Madeira wine and water until plump.  If cranberries aren't plump when ready to use, place them in the microwave for about 20-25 seconds.  

French Bread Cubes

Shave off the bottom crust of the loaf with a serrated knife and discard. Slice the bread into about 1 to 1 1/4 inch pieces.  Place in a large bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle all over with the onion & garlic power and salt & toss gently with hands.  Arrange on a large baking sheet and toast in the center of oven at 375 degrees until very crispy and browned.  About 30 minutes.  Remove and let cool. 

Roasted Butternut Squash

Wash the butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise & scrape out the seeds.  Cut the whole length of each half into 1 inch thick sections.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, arrange the slices on top and season with salt.  Roast in the center of oven at 425 degrees until fork tender.  About 25-30 minutes.  Removed from oven and let cool.  Remove skins with a paring knife.


Add the sausages to a non-stick pan and break apart into small bite size pieces with a wooden spatula.  Cook until nicely browned and scrape into a large mixing bowl.  

Sauteed Vegetables

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium temp, in a 12 inch skillet with lid.

Add the mushrooms, stir, cover and cook 4-5 minutes until they release their juices.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning underneath.

Remove lid and cook until nicely browned, stirring often, about 2 minutes.  Pour the mushrooms into the mixing bowl with the sausage and place the skillet back over medium heat.

Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, the fennel, onion and salt & pepper. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Add the chopped apple & rosemary, cover and cook 2-3 more minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent.   Remove from heat and spoon into the mixing bowl with the sausage and mushrooms, to cool completely. Drain the liquid from the cranberries and add to mixing bowl.  Add 1 cup of cubed butternut squash, toasted pecans, bread cubes and sprinkle the sage and onion powder evenly over the top. Season with salt & pepper and gently mix with hands.  

Drizzle with the melted butter and then with the chicken stock until the bread is nicely moistened but not soaked. Gently mix with your hands and scrape out into a long baking dish (I used 17x9).  Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, until nicely browned on top and very warm in the center.