A vegetarian was amongst my guests at a recent dinner party. I served this as his main course. Even non-vegetarians loved it. Friend Gayle requested the recipe which I must have clipped from a magazine, perhaps Bon Appetit.
1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp vegetable oil, divided.
1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 (14 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (do not stir) divided
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp Thai kitchen red curry paste (I used 1 1/2 and it was fiery enough)
1/3 cup water
1 (2 to 3 inch) cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
5 oz baby spinach (5 cups packed)
1 Tbsp Asian fish sauce (or to taste)
1/4 cup salted roasted cashews, chopped
Accompaniment: lime wedges
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over med-hi heat until it shimmers. Saute squash with cumin and 1/4 tsp salt until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add remaining 2 tsp oil to skillet and cook onion over med. heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup coconut milk from top of can and cook, stirring, until fat starts to separate and look glossy, about 2 minutes. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
Add squash, water, cinnamon, cloves, and remaining coconut milk and simmer, covered, until squash is tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook, covered, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in fish sauce. Sprinkle with cashews. Serve with jasmine rice.