Roasted Pumpkin with Shallots, Blue Cheese and Bacon

Loaded with fiber and flavor, this showstopper of a dish makes a wonderful accompaniment to a piece of grilled steak or is great on its own as a satisfying lunch. If you're looking for a not-so-tradtional side dish for the holiday table, this would be a welcome addition. This recipe makes two servings but can easily be doubled (or tripled!).

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 40 minutes

1 small sugar pumpkin or small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced into wedges
4 shallots, peeled and sliced lengthwise into quarters
4 ounces blue or gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
4 strips cooked bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup roasted squash seeds (see cook's note) or sunflower seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish
Honey, for drizzling (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Arrange squash wedges and shallots on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat the squash and shallots on all sides with the oil. Season lightly with salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until the veggies begins to brown slightly on the edges and becomes fork-tender. Remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes to cool.

To assemble, arrange squash and shallots on two serving dishes, diving equally amongst the dishes. Add bacon and blue cheese on top. Sprinkle with seeds and parsley. Drizzle with honey, if using. Serve immediately.

Cooks note: To roast the seeds you've harvested from your squash, preheat your oven to 350 F. Wash the seeds, picking off any pulp, and rinse. Set on a paper towel to dry. Spread the seeds on a parchment lined baking sheet and season lightly with salt. Roast the seeds for 12-15 minutes or until the seeds just begin to brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.