It starts off simple. Brussels sprouts and butternut squash get tossed with olive oil and a touch of salt. They're sent into the oven for what you think might be a standard veg roast. But wait, there's more. Once the veggies begin to show signs of crispy perfection*, a large handful of chopped dates are thrown into the mix. Pop the tray back in the oven for a few more minutes and watch the dates become extra gooey. Oh, we aren't done.

Pull the roast out of the oven and smother the Brussies and butties mix (we love nicknames) in a maple-Dijon glaze that brings this to the next level. The finale? A sprinkle of bacon bits so every bite is salty, sweet, crunchy, and then all is right in the world.

*Pro tip: For crispier veg, leave the pan in the oven while it preheats.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash With Bacon Bits and a Maple Glaze

Recipe by: Jamie Webber
Makes: 6 servings

Base recipe:
1 small butternut squash
2 cups Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 pitted medjool dates, chopped
4 slices cooked bacon, torn into bite-sized pieces
​Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Peel the butternut squash then cut in half to remove the stringy middle and seeds. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

3. Remove ends of Brussels sprouts and cut in half. If they are really large, it's best to quarter them.

4. Place the veggies on a large baking sheet.

5. Drizzle olive oil and toss them until evenly coated. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.

6. Add to oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, tossing them halfway through.

7. In the last five minutes of baking, add the dates.

8. While cooking, make the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients into a small bowl until mixed well.

9. Remove roasted veggies from oven and let cool.

10. Toss them with the maple-Dijon vinaigrette until evenly coated, then add bacon bits on top. (Vegetarian friends, this dish is just as good without the bacon, so feel free to omit.)

11. Serve warm and try not to hog it all.

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