Here in the Pacific Northwest, the change in season brings some much-awaited favorites. We love eating fresh strawberries in the late spring and early summer- straight from our patch in the garden, the juiciest tomatoes in August (and when you think about it have you ever eaten a half decent tomato in the dead of winter?), and the most mouth watering squash in the fall. Eating the season is simply the best. It yields the most flavorful produce naturally- the way things are supposed to taste. This squash dish is one of my tried and true favorites. I am only sorry to say that I didn’t create it (though I have tweaked it based on availability of local produce). You can find the original recipe at Simply Recipes.
1 large delicata squash
1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed
3 shallots, peeled, cut lengthwise into thirds
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp real maple syrup
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 Starkrimson pear (or your favorite seasonal fruit)
One of the places in this recipe that I often take creative liberty is when it comes to the fruit at the end. The original recipe calls for pomegranate arils. But as I was grocery shopping for this dish, my local market was sampling a seasonal treat, starkrimson pears. These little beauties are only available August- December and are absolutely worth every penny. They are everything you could want in a piece of fruit with a visually stunning, delicate, slightly tart crimson skin and a beautifully contrasting white flesh that is sweet and juicy, with hints of a floral undertone. The fruit element in this recipe is what gives it depth, and I knew that this starkrimson would be a great pair for this show stopping side.
***Ok, let’s get started!***
Cut the delicata in half lengthwise then cut each half crosswise. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and strings. Cut the squash into half rounds about a ½ inch thick.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Place squash, brussels, shallots, into a large bowl and toss with olive oil. Drizzle on 2 Tbsp of maple syrup and one Tbsp of apple cider vinegar, then toss to coat. Sprinkle with one tsp of Kosher salt.
Oil two baking sheets. Spread the squash, shallots, and brussels across the sheets, spacing in a single layer. Roast at 400° for 20 min then turn the veggies over once. Bake for 15 more minutes or until everything is nicely browned.
As your veggies are finishing browning, slice into the gorgeous starkrimson pear. Make the slices nice and thin and bite sized. As you take your veggies off the baking trays and place them in your serving dish, distribute the pear slices amongst the vegetables. As a finishing touch, drizzle one more Tbsp of maple syrup and toss.