Ok, I admit it, I'm slightly obsessed with kabocha squash. In my last post I mentioned that you can eat the skin and roasting is the way to go for that preparation. This sweet and savory combination blends nicely with the nutty flavor of the squash. It's a great side for Thanksgiving as you can easily prep it ahead of time and then roast it while the turkey is resting. It offers a change from mashed or pureed squash, and if my family is an accurate barometer (we were eating it out of the pan) then it's sure to be a hit for any meal.
Roasted Kabocha Squash with Pecans and Dried Cranberries
1 medium sized Kabocha squash
Extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
Healthy pinch of sea salt
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Trim the top and ends from the squash. Cut it in half and remove the seeds (save the seeds as they can be dried and roasted later)
Place the cut squash in a roasting pan that's large enough to spread it out to one layer. Drizzle with olive oil and toss so all pieces are lightly coated with oil. Finely chop two springs of rosemary that has been stripped from the stem and sprinkle over the squash. Add a healthy pinch of sea salt and some pepper.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Add the chopped pecans and drizzle the squash with the maple syrup and bake for another 10 minutes.
Add the dried cranberries and bake for another 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler and cook until the squash starts to brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 10 minutes (this will make it easier to remove from the pan), then transfer to a serving platter.