Tag Archives: comfort food

Simple Squash, Simple Post

Even though winter has brought unusually cold temps, tons of snow, and general grumpiness to DC this year, at least one good thing has come out of it. The dreary weather is perfect for roasting vegetables, which is one winter treat I look forward to every year.

Roasted vegetables are so versatile. You can roast almost any combination of veggies: red bell peppers and red onions, for instance, or carrots and parsnips. You can also puree roasted vegetables into a dip or a soup, which will have the smoky, earthy taste of the vegetables. The Barefoot Contessa, for example, makes a wonderful roasted eggplant spread.

My favorite recipe for roasted vegetable, however, is butternut squash. Roasting the squash brings out its natural sweetness, and it is the perfect accompaniment to any dinner (particularly a roast chicken!). The recipe is also SO simple–I wouldn’t even call it a recipe! If you’re in a hurry or don’t feel like cutting an entire squash, the pre-cut squash sold in supermarkets will work fine too. Add this simple yet stunning dish to your next dinner party and it will be sure to bring your guests out of their winter blues!

Simple Roasted Butternut Squash

1 medium-sized butternut squash, cut into 3/4 inch cubes OR 1 package pre-cut butternut squash

2 T olive oil (can do more or less depending on size of squash)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Put foil over a baking sheet. Pour the cut butternut squash onto the baking sheet.

3. Pour 2 T olive oil over the squash and toss until the squash is well coated with the oil. (Add more or less depending on the amount of squash.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Place the squash in the oven for 15-20 min, until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork and is golden brown on the bottom.

5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

Advertisements

Pho-get about the weather

View of the snow from inside Saigon Bistro

I woke up this morning to find a pleasant surprise outside my window: the first snow of the season! I was so excited to run outside and build a snowman, but then I realized it was only 8:30 in the morning (which, on a weekend, is early for me). So I crawled back into bed and decided to wait until the afternoon, dreaming of the winter wonderland that would be waiting for me.

Silly me. By the time I woke up again, it was 2:30p! I hurriedly put on my coat and dragged my boyfriend outside with me. But, alas, the beautiful white snowflakes that greeted me earlier this morning had turned into brown slush. It was cold, grey, rainy, and just plain dreary outside! And to add insult to injury, we were both FAMISHED. (Sorry for sounding like a negative Nancy, but I was really disappointed!)

Dining room at Saigon Bistro

Cold weather always makes me crave noodle soups (must be the Asian in me) and luckily, Saigon Bistro was there to save the day. This sleek Vietnamese eatery opened fairly recently and took over the space that used to house the Fractured Prune and Aioli. With the lack of decent pho restaurants in the District, I’m truly grateful for Saigon Bistro’s arrival.

My boyfriend and I both ordered small beef noodle soups, or pho. Our soups arrived fairly quickly and piping hot, along with the usual condiments of bean sprouts, basil, jalepenos, and lime wedges. The noodles were just the right amount of chewy and served with generous portions of well done brisket and rare beef. The broth tasted light and fresh, though lacking the strong anise flavor that I love in Pho 75‘s. Despite this, it was still a respectable bowl of pho and certainly satisfied my craving.

Small beef noodle soup #3

At $7.99 for a small pho, Saigon Bistro is a bit more expensive than Pho 75. But, hey, I think the extra $3 is worth it, especially for not having to trek all the way out to Rosslyn or Falls Church for decent pho on a cold winter day. Saigon Bistro’s menu offers more variety, too. I will definitely be back to try the rice dishes (which are skewers of chicken, shrimp, or beef served with rice, salad, and fish sauce) and clay pot dishes (if these are similar to Hong Kong style bao zai fan, I’ll be so happy). Nothing on the menu exceeds $15 and portions are generous.

After slurping down the last of my pho, I felt refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to head back out into the cold. I forgot all about my earlier grumpiness and left Saigon Bistro with a full belly and a smile on my face.

Saigon Bistro

2153 P St. NW (near the corner of P & 22nd St.)

Washington, DC 20036

202-558-6188

Saigon Bistro on Urbanspoon