Last updated on April 8th, 2019
We usually have our Thanksgiving menu planned weeks in advance, but this year we’re heading to my folks’ house and they’ve been in New Zealand for the past three weeks. In other words, my mom hasn’t been thinking about meal planning at all. By default that puts me in charge, but it didn’t even occur to me that I should probably order a turkey until yesterday (thankfully not too late!). If you’re looking for a last-minute quick side dish for your Thanksgiving table, this roasted squash with burrata fits the bill. Topped with spicy maple hazelnuts, pomegranate arils, and maple vinaigrette, the dish dresses to impress, but really only takes a tiny bit of hands-on time (that can be done in advance).
I know because I slapped it together from my fridge a few weeks ago in just a few minutes for guests. Lucas brought some friends by after a run to visit the baby while I was shooting these apple cheddar galettes, and I insisted they stay for lunch. My promise that it’d just be a few more minutes until the galettes were ready was a complete lie, so I dug through my fridge for an appetizer and found burrata that I hungry impulse-bought and roasted squash. I tossed it on a plate with some toasted hazelnuts and served it up. We then ate that combo every night for a week straight. It’s a good thing we had burrata and hazelnuts or this squash might have been topped with leftover anchovies and cornichons.
Burrata and hazelnuts complement the sweet fluffy roasted kabocha squash beautifully, adding creaminess and nutty notes. This week I gussied it up with some pomegranate arils, spicy maple hazelnuts, and a maple vinaigrette to make it feel more like a proper side dish for the holidays. I used kabocha squash (pumpkin’s sweeter cousin) which saves prep time because the skin roasts up soft and completely edible, though feel free to sub in your favorite squash – I’ve made it with delicata and peeled butternut. You can even roast the squash and the spicy maple hazelnuts a day or two in advance to preserve that precious oven space for the big day.
Here I’ve served the squash on individual plates, but it’d work equally as well on a large serving platter for the table. You could even cut the squash into smaller or larger wedges and adjust the bake-time accordingly.
Embarrassing fact: I can’t say “kabocha” without accidentally calling it “kombucha” first. Every. Single. Time.
Just by happenstance, my friend Betty had been working on a squash burrata medley too! It’s an unlikely flavor pairing that’s got us both swooning. Check out her stunning bowl of caramelized squash, scallion oil and balsamic vinaigrette, and burrata on her blog today too.
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Spicy Maple Hazelnuts
Roasted Squash and toppings