I love the combo of pecans and parmesan together: it gives a wonderfully rich, textured crispness to the soft roasted squash without using bread. This recipe works equally well for a casual family dinner or as part of a fancier spread when entertaining guests.
Special equipment: A food processor will make chopping easier but is optional.
Technique tip: Nuts will burn quickly if left too close to the heat source, so keep an eye on them during the second half of cooking since you just want them to toast. If your oven has a tendency to burn things, leave the nuts off and add them in only for the final 5 minutes of cooking once the cheese has had a chance to melt over the squash a bit.
Swap option: Replace the squash with pumpkin! You can also use bread crumbs instead of pecans if nuts are a concern. Oil can be replaced with coconut oil or butter, too.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.2.
In a small pan or pot, heat the olive over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and gently swirl to combine, then remove from the heat and allow to sit for about 10 minutes to infuse.3.
In a small bowl, combine pecans, parmesan, scallions, chili flakes and a pinch of salt. Drizzle in the reserved tablespoon of olive oil and toss everything to combine. Set aside.4.
Add the butternut squash slabs into a casserole dish and pour the butter mixture on top. It should be warm but not hot. Toss to coat all squash pieces, then arrange in an even layer in the dish.5.
Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Sprinkle pecan mixture and roast the dish for another 20 minutes. Crank the oven up to 425 degrees and roast for another 5 minutes so that the squash gets a deep golden-brown color. Check while roasting to ensure nothing is burning or getting too brown.6.
To serve, top the dish with a smattering of fresh parsley (and stems for extra texture and flavor!) plus a drizzle of any juices left in the casserole dish.