Serve these squash rings as a side dish, or add a scoop of pumpkin ice cream for a yummy dessert. Look for a thick barrel aged maple balsamic for its color and rich flavor.

·      1 large acorn squash (1½ lb.), ends trimmed, cut into four ¾-inch-thick rounds

·      ½ cup pecan halves (2 oz.)

·      ¼ cup dark brown sugar (1½ oz.)

·      1 Tbs. chilled butter or margarine, diced

·      ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

·      2 Tbs. maple balsamic, or pecan praline balsamic



1 | Place oven rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 425°F. Line 12- x 9-inch rimmed baking sheet with non-stick foil. Season squash with salt and very lightly with pepper, if desired. Arrange squash rounds on foil with larger surface area down. Roast 15 minutes.

2 | Pulse pecans, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt (if desired) in mini food processor until nuts are chopped to pea-size pieces. Transfer mixture to bowl; mix in maple balsamic or pecan praline balsamic.

3 | Turn squash over. Top with pecan mixture. Bake 8 minutes more, or until squash is tender, and topping is hot and bubbling.

Serves 4-6