True confession - sometimes I don't even serve myself turkey on Thanksgiving. Yes, I know it is the centerpiece of the meal, but to me it seems to take up space that could be occupied by the sides. And oh, Thanksgiving has great sides. I have my favorites (stuffing, ooooh, stuffing how I love you) but I always like to try a new dish or two because you never know what could be a new classic. And this roasted squash dish is definitely a new classic.
Let's talk about roasting for a second, and the magical things it does for squash. Roasting is hands-free and gives squash a sweet flavor with a caramel-like hint. Win-win on both those accounts. In this dish there are three types of veggies roasted together - two types of squashes for slight differences in flavor/texture/sweetness, and parsnips for a little kick. For those of you who haven't tried parsnips yet, go do it. The best way I can describe them is like carrots with attitude. They have a sweet/peppery flavor that adds so much to this dish. (Just be sure to cut out most of the woody cores that some of the very large parsnips have.) The squash and parsnips are tossed in a butter/maple sauce giving them extra sweetness and rosemary is added to the mix to add more flavor. The almonds on top add more flavor and some great texture. I definitely wouldn't skip adding them. In all this small list of ingredients adds up to a seriously delicious side dish. Most of the time to prepare this dish is spent up front doing some serious chopping so it is a good dish to make ahead of time. If you are looking for a new squash dish for your Thanksgiving meal this year, this one is bound to be a hit.
Roasted Squash with Maple Syrup and AlmondsPublished 11/18/2013
- 4 cups 1/2 inch cubes peeled kabocha squash (about 1 medium squash)
- 4 cups 1/2 inch cubes peeled butternut squash (about 1/2 medium/large squash)
- 2 cups 1/4 to 1/3 inch peeled parsnips (about 2 lbs)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
- Butter a 9x13 baking dish and add squash and parsnips. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the maple syrup, garlic cloves, rosemary, salt and black pepper. Add to the squash in the pan and toss to coat. (The dish can be made ahead to this point and chilled up to a day. Bring to room temp before continuing)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until the squash is tender, another 10-20 minutes longer. (if you cut your pieces larger than 1/2 inch cubes you might want to cook the dish even longer.) Sprinkle with almonds and bake another 10 minutes. Serve.
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Recipe Source: Bon Appetit 2008, via epicurious