There are a few things that make this recipe exceptional, and first are the spiced pecans. We eat these sweet, crunchy, spicy pecans by the handful and love sprinkling them over salads and sides, especially during the holiday! Next is that sweet, sticky honey-baked acorn. The sweetness of the acorn is so spot on with the ricotta and nuts its perfection in every bite. Because the rest of the ingredients are simple it's important to use good quality ingredients. Enjoy!
1 large acorn squash
3 Tbsp good quality olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp honey, divided
3/4 cup fresh ricotta
4-6 mint leaves, roughly chopped
Flaky sea salt
½ cup Spiced Pecans, see recipe below
Crusty bread for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Carefully slice the squash into half-moons and place in a large bowl, leaving the skin on. Toss the squash with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp honey. Season with salt and pepper.
Lay the squash pieces on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the squash is golden and tender.
Meanwhile on a serving platter, spread ricotta evenly across. Drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp honey, and spiced pecans. Season well with salt.
When squash are finished arrange on top of the ricotta and garnish with mint leaves. Serve with crusty bread and additional honey if desired.
1 Tbsp water
1 egg white
3 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp cloves
1/2 tsp kosher salt
pinch of cayenne
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together water and egg whites in large bowl. Add pecans and toss to moisten.
In a separate bowl combine sugar with the rest of the ingredients. Pour sugar-spice mixture over the nuts and toss to coat completely.
Line baking tray with silicone baking mats (or foil if you do not have silicone mats). Spread nuts across tray in a single layer.
Bake 15 minutes, flip nuts halfway through, and bake another 10-15 (be careful not to burn!).