Every Thanksgiving table should host an assortment of brightly colored side dishes. This year I created a recipe with roasted squash, chestnuts, and pomegranate seeds then finished it all with a simple balsamic maple syrup reduction sauce. The mixture of color from the bright pomegranates, fall hued squash, and earth toned chestnuts made for a perfectly cheerful dish. This is one of the easiest Thanksgiving side-dish recipes that you’ll make and maybe the most colorful too!
The sauce for this recipe is an quick and easy reduction sauce using aged balsamic vinegar and pure maple syrup. The two flavors combine to make a sweet yet simple sauce letting the flavor of the squash and chestnuts shine.
For the chestnuts, you can find them at whole foods or other speciality grocers. Look for them in a jar that have been peeled a steamed. They will be your new favorite fall addition. They give off a pleasantly sweet nut aroma and flavor to a dish, yet have a potato like consistency when cooked. I have lots of plans for using more chestnuts this season. I hope to figure out how to roast them myself, then I dream of making a cream of chestnut soup with a fresh herb oil on top. Doesn’t that sounds perfectly wintry and dreamy! The pomegranate seeds add a tart finish to the sweet balsamic sauce. If your on the look out for pomegranates and acorn squash, you should be able to find them at any grocery store right now, as they are at the peak of their season.
What colorful dishes will be gracing your table this Thanksgiving?
- 1 acorn squash
- 12 *chestnuts, halved
- seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trim ends of acorn squash and cut in half through the stem end. Scrape out seeds and place squash cut side down on a cutting board (do not peel). Cut halves crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Slice chestnuts in half and set aside. Place squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes then add in the chestnuts and bake for additional 10-15 minutes or until squash is done but not mushy (edges will be brown and almost caramelized).
- Meanwhile, pour the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup into a small sauce pan, simmer until reduced by a third, about 15-20 minutes.
- Slice pomegranate in half and dig out seeds. Soak seeds and peel in water to get rid of the excess white peel from the inside. Rinse the seeds and set aside.
- Add half of the pomegranate seeds to the maple balsamic sauce.
- Transfer squash and chestnuts to a serving platter, drizzle with maple balsamic sauce then garnish with the extra pomegranate seeds.
look for chestnuts that come in a jar and have been peeled a steamed