Peace out, potatoes! There’s a new hasselback-worthy veggie in town. Bring this beautiful butternut squash to the table this holiday and your dinner guests will be in awe from the sight of this aesthetically pleasing dish. Reminiscent of twinkling lights, pomegranate arils dust the golden surface of each squash half. The best part? It tastes just as great as it looks! Create this gourmet, edible centerpiece in your own kitchen for your upcoming holiday feast!
2 small butternut squashes
6 slices bacon, cooked & chopped
1/4 cup Now Foods Raw Pecans, toasted & roughly chopped
1/4 cup Vitacost Organic Dried Cranberries, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp. Vitacost Organic Maple Syrup
Salt & pepper to taste
Pomegranate arils to garnish, optional
1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Line pan with aluminum foil, add bacon slices and bake until crispy; about 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool and reserve bacon grease.
2. Place towel underneath cutting board to stabilize. Cut squash lengthwise, de-seed and peel.
3. Lay sliced squashes cut-side down on cutting board. Stick chopsticks/skewers/butter knives on either side of each squash and thinly slice like an accordion. Note: Placing a skewer (or skewer-like object) against either side of the squash will help you avoid slicing all the way through.
4. Grease lined pan with reserved bacon fat. Lay squash on pan and liberally brush tops with more bacon fat.
5. Sprinkle with salt and bake 40-45 minutes. Once tender, drizzle maple syrup on top.
6. Set to broil and return pan to oven for a few minutes to brown; keeping an eye on squash to avoid burning.
7. Remove squash and top with chopped bacon, pecans and cranberries. Stuff bacon pieces into random butternut slices for a decorative look. Garnish with pomegranate arils and pepper if desired.
Chef’s tip: I prefer using smaller butternut squash as they are easier to peel and cook quicker. Plus, organic butternut squash are usually smaller than non-organic.