I love the produce available every fall including the greens, mushrooms, chestnuts, apples, pears, and especially the winter squash. I seem to be slightly pumpkin obsessed in particular lately, and I love how versatile the pumpkin can be. Really, it works amazingly well in everything from desserts, baked goods, soups & stews, or as a side dish such as I am showing here. This is one of the easiest yet tastiest recipes I have made in a very long time and it always turns out amazingly well as long as you choose the right squash. In Umbria, we found a pumpkin that was green and orange, round in shape and not too large. (I later found out it is called a sugar pumpkin), but it had fairly solid flesh that held up well to cooking.
Back in North America now, I am experimenting with new winter squash varieties, and found the Calabaza and Blue Hubbard varieties to be very similar to our Umbrian pumpkin. For these wedges to hold up during roasting, you really need to use a hard squash without too much water content. Roasting all vegetables does amazing things to them, bringing out their natural sweetness by caramelizing the sugars within them, but this phenomena seems even more accurate with winter squash. Roasted winter squash is wonderful, and for me tastes like candied vegetables, but brushing it with just a little maple syrup brings it up to an entire new level. I honestly could eat squash cooked this way every day!
As well as being a wonderfully versatile vegetable that tastes so great, winter squash is also very healthy for you as they are low in calories, but are a rich source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. Winter squash are also a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E. And don’t throw out the seeds within, because once roasted the seeds are a concentrated source of protein, as well as a good source of magnesium, zinc, and phytosteroids which help lower cholesterol.
Deborah Mele 2011
Maple Glazed Pumpkin Wedges
Roasting pumpkin brings out the natural sweetness through caramelization.
- 1 Cooking Pumpkin Or Winter Squash of Choice (See Note Above), Peeled, Seeds Removed, And Cut Into Wedges
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Toss your squash wedges with the olive oil and lay them side by side on a foil lined baking sheet.
- Brush the tops with a little of the maple syrup, then bake until fork tender, and beginning to brown, about 20 to 25 minutes depending on the squash variety you use.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.