- 2 butternut squashes, similar in size
- 3 Tablespoons light olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon minced parsley (optional)
Maple Pecan Glaze
- 3 Tablespoons chopped pecans
- 4 slices of thick-cut bacon or Tasso
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon maple flavor
- 2 cups light brown CRYSTAL SUGAR®
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Prepping the Squash
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
- Slice the squashes down the center, lengthwise. Remove the seeds from the insides and peel the outsides. Place the squashes on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut-side down, and rub them with olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Roast for 15–20 minutes, just until the squashes are tender enough to slice into.
- Let the squashes cool slightly until they are cool enough to manage. Place each squash on a baking sheet and lay a butter knife or chopsticks on each side to prevent cutting completely through.
- Make consistent slices in the squash, about 1/8 inch apart. This will allow the glaze to seep into the squash. Place the squash back on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining squash.
- Season each squash with salt, pepper and roast for 20 minutes, then remove to continue with the glazing process.
Pork, Pecans & Glaze
- On a separate parchment-lined tray, toast pecans in pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden and aromatic. Allow them to cool and set aside for topping.
- Place bacon on a lined cookie sheet and bake in oven for 20 minutes; do not overbake. If using Tasso, do not bake. Just cut to small bite-sized pieces and reserve. Remove bacon from tray and chop coarsely.
- While the squashes and bacon are roasting, prepare your glaze. Place the butter, maple flavor, light brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow the mixture to melt, stirring occasionally, then turn off heat and let cool.
- Drizzle the squashes with the glaze mixture. Top with bacon or Tasso. Return smothered squash to the oven and roast for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until squashes are fork tender.
- To serve, lift parchment paper with the squashes and transfer to a platter. Top with toasted pecans and parsley.
Yield: 6 servings