Roasted squash is such a good holiday side dish because it’s easy and automatically festive. With just a few more simple touches, it can be one of the best dishes on the table.
I roast the squash with just salt and pepper in a hot oven until it’s golden and brown. I like acorn squash because you can leave the skins on for a beautiful presentation. However, you can make this with butternut squash as well – just peel it, scoop out the seeds, and cut it into cubes before roasting. Once the squash is nice and caramelized, I top it with buttery pecans that have been infused with the intense aromas of rosemary and sage. A drizzle of honey and sprinkle of pomegranate seeds give this dish a sweet finish.
- 1 acorn squash, ends removed and halved
- canola oil
- salt and pepper
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 3 oz halved pecans
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 5 sage leaves
- honey, to drizzle
- pomegranate seeds, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the seeds from the acorn squash by using a spoon to scoop them out. Cut the halved acorn squash into large wedges. Coat the wedges with canola oil and season them with salt and pepper. Spread them out in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. Gently turn the squash over, making sure the bottoms are golden brown. Finish roasting on the other side for just a couple of minutes until tender.
- While the squash is roasting, heat the butter in a pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the pecans, whole herbs, and a pinch of salt. Continue to cook until the butter browns. Remove from the heat quickly so the butter does not turn black. Spoon the nuts and brown butter over the roasted squash. Drizzle with honey and top with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds.