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Mashed Butternut Squash with Maple Pecans

Serves 6-8
Author Ashley

Ingredients

For the Squash

  • 2 large butternut squashes
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt & fresh pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

For the Maple Pecans

  • 1 cup pecans roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Slice the squashes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rinse and roughly chop the thyme. Place the squash on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the squash is soft enough to stick a fork through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the maple syrup to a boil in a small saucepan over low heat. Once boiling, whisk in the spices. Whisk periodically until the syrup begins to thicken. This will take about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the pecans to the syrup and mix until the nuts are evenly coated and no syrup remains in the pot. Transfer the nuts on to a piece of parchment paper and allow to cool completely.
  5. To assemble: scoop out the flesh of the squash into a large casserole dish. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and more salt and pepper then mash until smooth. Reheat in the oven then sprinkle with the maple pecans.