One of the sides I made for the birthday dinner last weekend was truly dedicated to the season, utilizing the plethora of squash varieties that are available right now. You can really use any selection you like from acorn to butternut to baby baking pumpkins. The mix of spices and seasoning really make it feel like fall, a perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving table.
Roasted Acorn Squash and Pumpkin with Ginger, Garlic and Balsamic
2-3 large squash varieties (acorn, butternut, etc) – cut into quarters with the seeds and threads scooped
1 baby baking pumpkin – cut into quarters, all of the seeds and threads scooped out
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus any additional needed when roasting
4 cloves garlic – minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley – chopped, for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh mint – chopped, for garnish
1 tablespoon slivered blanched almonds, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl toss the pumpkin and squash with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper and all of the remaining ingredients, except those for garnish. Place in one even layer on a baking dish and roast for about 30-40 minutes, turning half way through, until the veggies are tender. If the veggies are getting too dry drizzle an extra bit of olive oil on them to keep them moist. When the squash is cooked place on a platter. Check the flavor and add an additional dash of salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the herbs and almonds. The squash and pumpkin should be served in its skins, but it is likely they will still be too tough to be edible. Just scoop the flesh out of the shells and enjoy.
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