Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranate and Goat Cheese
Acorn squash is one of my favorites for the holidays. This holiday treat adds some color and flavor to the table. You can sub out kabocha squash for this recipe if you prefer. Balsamic vinegar is also a great substitute for maple syrup.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
Wash the two whole squash under running water and pat dry. Cut the squash in half by inserting the tip of a chef's knife in the center of the squash where the stem connects. Push the tip in until it has cut all the way through the skin and flesh, then press down firmly on the handle, bringing the heel of the blade all the way to the cutting board. Turn the squash 180 degrees and repeat on the other side, splitting the squash. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon.
Slice the squash into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Heat a 14-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once heated, add the squash in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper and sear on the first side until lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes, in batches if needed. Place the seared squash on the prepared sheet tray, seared-side down, and season the top side with salt and pepper. Scatter the thyme sprigs over the squash and put into the oven. Roast until the edges are brown and the squash is tender in the middle, 20 to 30 minutes.
Transfer the squash to a large bowl, season with more salt, pepper and cumin to taste. Drizzle with the warmed syrup and toss to combine. Pour onto a platter and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and goat cheese.