"This is a great holiday side dish. A real crowd pleaser. It’s a way of providing that little bit of rich nut and sweet squash flavor that goes so well with a turkey, ham or whole roasted fish. The ginger offers a little “zing” that your menu just might be looking for without straying too far from that classic squash side dish we love on the Thanksgiving table. I made this last year instead of classic sweet potato with marshmallow and there was barely any leftover! Always a good sign...." – Alex Guarnaschelli
6 pounds butternut squash, fully peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (3 medium sized)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil. Spread pecans onto one of the baking sheets. Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until they are lightly toasted and aromatic. Remove nuts from baking sheet and set aside.
Combine sugar, 2 tsp. salt and dry ginger in a large bowl. Add squash pieces and toss to coat evenly. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to combine. Transfer ½ of mixture to each of the prepared pans, spreading the squash so that the pieces are not touching. Bake for 30 minutes (rotate the pans in the oven after 15 minutes) or until the squash has begun to brown and is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.
Meanwhile, combine honey, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, orange zest and juice, 1 tsp. salt, vinegar and fresh ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and maintain a low boil until the mixture has reduced and become syrupy. Coarsely chop ½ cup of the toasted pecans, add them and the remaining pecan halves to the honey mixture.
To serve, transfer cooked squash to a large bowl and toss with the honey pecan mixture. Serve immediately.
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Made this for last years thanksgiving and it was a hit. I was hoping for left overs but that did not happen. The ginger and orange were suttle yet it somehow made the whole dish taste delightful.