There is something rich and wonderful about the simplicity of squash. Roasting brings out all the natural sugars and deep, rich colors that makes it one of my favorite dishes for Thanksgiving. This rendition adds a bit of sweet and savory taste to the meal with the unexpected addition of pistachios and Medjool dates. Don’t be surprised if it becomes a requested “favorite” for the family holidays.
1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs)
1½ tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
3 shallots, minced
2/3 cup unsalted, chopped pistachios
1 lemon, zest and juice
6 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Peel squash and cut into ½-inch cubes. Toss in bowl with flour, thyme, salt. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Place coated squash in dish and drizzle with remaining oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes until tender. While squash is baking, prepare topping.
Heat oil in sauté pan. Cook shallots until translucent, add remaining nuts, dates and zest. Continue cooking over medium heat, 5 minutes or so. Finish with cinnamon and lemon juice.
Remove squash from oven, sprinkle topping over dish and return to oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.