One of the benefits of where I work is the opportunity to work with some exceptional chefs. The below recipe shared by the Executive Chef at Kenwood Vineyards, Robin Lehnhoff-McCray, has it all. The sweet and nutty flavors from one of my favorite winter squashes married with tart pomegranate seeds (I’m on a pomegranate kick right now), crispy pancetta to add richness and texture, spicy arugula, sweet pears and Asiago cheese for added complexity makes this recipe the perfect winter dish. Serve it as your main entrée or as an accompaniment on the side.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the squash, olive oil and salt and pepper to coat. Place this on a sheet pan and cover with foil. Bake until tender, 15 – 30 minutes (mine took about 20 mins). Uncover and continue to bake until the squash starts to turn brown on the edges. Sprinkle with the cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Set aside to cool.
In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add in the squash. Gently toss together and serve immediately.
Serves 6-8 as main entrée.
A Merlot or Pinot Noir would be a perfect match to the flavor profiles in this dish. Some personal favorites are Creekview Vineyards Santa Clara Valley Merlot, Benovia Winery Pinot Noir or Jack London Vineyards Merlot.