Halloween is over and, for me, that means holiday time. Not in a crazy put up the tree, turn on the Christmas music, start wearing ugly sweaters kind of way. The beginning of holiday season is all about starting my shopping, cooking and baking up nostalgic favorites, and trying out new recipes from the bound-to-be gorgeous November and December issues of my favorite magazines.
Speaking of which, have you seen this month's Bon Appetit? It is stunning. Completely filled with recipe and recipe I can't wait to try. The flavors run the full gamut and I can't wait to taste them all.
First up was this delicious squash side dish. The ingredient list is short, cooking techniques basic, and the dish can even be partially completed ahead of time. The results are delicious and allow the flavor of the squash to really shine through. I have a feeling we'll be enjoying this for years to come.
Roasted Squash with Mint and Toasted Pepitas
from Bon Appetit, November 2011
2 medium acorn or butternut squash or small sugar pumpkins (about 3 lbs.)
4 TBSP olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1 TBSP aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. fresh mint leaves, torn
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut squash into 1 1/2"-thick wedges, leaving skin on. Using a large spoon, scrape out seeds and strings. Discard.
2. Coat wedges with 3 TBSP oil (I used an olive oil mister to lessen the oil) and season with salt and pepper. Lay wedges cut side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, carefully turning halfway through, until golden brown on both sides, about 30 minutes.
3. Heat remaining TBSP oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pepitas and cook, swirling pan often, until seeds are puffed and brown but still have a bit of green, 4–5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt.
4. Transfer squash to a large platter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle squash with torn mint leaves and toasted pumpkin seeds. Serves 8.
***DO AHEAD OPTION: Squash and pepitas can be made up to 4 hours ahead. Let stand separately at room temperature. Rewarm squash before serving.