Maple Squash Salad with Pecans, Pomegranate & Blue Cheese


Serves 4
1 medium acorn squash
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp (10 ml) ground cumin
2 tsp (10 ml) paprika
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
2 tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
½ tbsp (7.5 ml) butter
½ cup (125 ml) raw whole pecans
¼ cup (60 ml) pomegranate seeds
¼ cup (60 ml) crumbled blue cheese
¼ cup (60 ml) cilantro leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice squash in half and scoop out the seeds. With flat side on cutting board, cut squash into ½-in (1.25 cm) half-moons (skin is edible and can be left on). Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together garlic, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, oil and 1½ tbsp (22 ml) maple syrup. Pour over squash and gently massage to ensure squash is thoroughly covered in seasoning. Transfer to lined baking sheet, spacing apart evenly, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes, or until fork-tender.
  3. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add remaining ½ tbsp (7.5 ml) maple syrup. Add pecans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until coated in maple butter and lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Arrange squash on a large platter and top with pecans, pomegranate seeds, crumbled blue cheese and cilantro. Serve warm.
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