One of my favorite things for autumn and winter is the abundance of squash in the market. Two of my favorite kinds are the kabocha and butternut. They are naturally sweet, low in calories and full of vitamin A and C. I usually like to roast them up and serve it as side dishes. I prepared this particular side dish to take it to a Thanksgiving get together at a friend house. It was so well received by everyone even by the non squash fan and I thought I should put the recipe here as I will be making it again soon. I simply tossed it with olive oil, salted and pepper and when it is nearly done roasting I add some maple syrup, cinnamon and cayenne pepper to it. It gives this dish a sweet, salty and slightly spicy flavor.
3 1/2 pounds of peeled and cubes butternut squash (from 1 large butternut squash)
1 large onion – cut into chunks
4 strips of bacon - optional
¼ cup chopped parsley
3 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp cinnamon powder
3-4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degree F. Line a baking sheet pan with aluminum foil.
2. Fried the bacon until brown and crispy. Drain the oil on paper towel. Roughly chopped it up and set it aside.
3. Combined butternut squash and onion in a large mixing bowl. Add in the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss it well.
4. Pour it to the baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes (depending on the size of the squash) or until the squash is nearly done.
5. In the meantime mix together the maple syrup, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
6. When the squash is nearly done, drizzle in the maple syrup mix and give it a good toss until well combined. Continue to bake until the edges of the squash gets brown.
7. Remove from oven and toss in the bacon and chopped parsley.
8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: You can omit the bacon if you are not a fan of it.