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Maple Chili Acorn Squash with Citrus Labneh


2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

½ teaspoon ras el hanout  (or substitute cinnamon and cumin)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 medium acorn squash, seeds removed and cut into wedges along the seams

Kosher salt to taste

1 cup labneh

Zest and juice of 1 orange or 2 smaller citrus fruits (clementine, satsuma, etc.)

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced (reserve fronds for garnish)

1 small pomegranate, seeds removed and stored in cold water

3 tablespoons roughly chopped pistachios

2 mint sprigs, leaves picked and roughly torn


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together maple syrup, olive oil, Aleppo, ras el hanout, and garlic. Reserve a few tablespoons for basting, then toss acorn squash wedges with the remaining mixture.
  2. Spread squash on a foil-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with kosher salt, and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip each piece, and baste with remaining glaze. Continue roasting, checking every 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown and fork tender but not mushy.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together labneh, citrus juice and zest, cumin, white pepper, and salt until well combined. Drain pomegranate seeds.
  4. To serve, spread the labneh on a serving platter and top with squash; serve the remaining labneh on the side. Top with fennel slices, pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and mint. Garnish with fennel fronds. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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