Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Spiced Pecans, Feta, and Pomegranate

This recipe is simply a combination of a few of my favorite things - that I thought would go together happily. Butternut squash takes the addition of maple syrup well - but it’s not overly sweet - just naturally sweet. There’s herby crunch in the nuts, sweetness and pop in the pomegranate seeds, and tang in the feta. It is also visually a treat. I think it’s a candidate for a new Holiday tradition!

Yield: 6

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Spiced Pecans, Feta, and Pomegranate

prep time: 20 minscook time: 40 minstotal time: 60 mins

A sweet and savory treat! The caramelized squash has such a wonderful maple flavor and pairs beautifully with the rosemary pecans, tangy feta, and sweet pomegranate. Delicious and beautiful! It's a new Holiday tradition!

ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash (or 2 small), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary,  finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup feta or other goat cheese

instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  2. Toast pecans on a rimmed baking sheet for about 10 minutes until golden brown.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Increase oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  4. Combine the squash, olive oil, syrup, and salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Pour the squash onto the parchment paper and spread into a single layer.
  5. Bake for a total of 40 minutes until squash is golden brown and tender.  Be sure to stir about half way through the cooking - 20 minutes.  
  6. While the squash is baking, combine the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, salt and butter in a small bowl.  Toss in the nuts and toss thoroughly.  Set aside to cool 
  7. Place the squash in a serving dish.  Crumble feta over the top and sprinkle with pecans and pomegranate seeds.  
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Mark LaFavor