Feed guests as they arrive with this easy Favorite Holiday Nosh Platter. The perfect dinner host solution for busy holiday dinners. Cut up as much squash and pears as you need to feed your group.
For the Pecans
Preheat oven to 400°F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Begin by tossing the squash slices and beets with the olive oil to coat and sprinkle with salt to taste (add a dash of cumin if you wish). Place squash slices and beets on baking sheet, leaving room for the pears (which you will add to the baking sheet after the squash and beets have cooked for 20 minutes). Set a kitchen timer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the pears by spraying them lightly with cooking oil and sprinking them with cinnamon and sugar (if using) to taste. At the 20 minute baking mark, add the pears to the baking sheet and return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
Give the ricotta cheese a few stirs to soften it and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Prepare the pecans by tossing them in a heated skillet (medium-high heat) sprayed with cooking oil. Toss the nuts for about 1 minute (constantly tossing to prevent from burning), and add the cumin and cayenne pepper. Give the nuts a quick toss to cover evenly and drizzle the honey to coat all the nuts. Turn the burner off and toss the nuts to cover evenly with the honey. Place the nuts in a small bowl and set aside.
Rinse and remove residue from the skillet and return it to the stove. Quickly fry the whole sage leaves over medium-high heat in one the two tablespoons of butter until they become crispy (about one minute), and remove them from the heat. Set aside. Reserve the butter in the pan for drizzling.
When the squash, beets, and pears have finished baking, clear a space in the middle of the baking sheet and add the ricotta cheese. Toss the pecans, pomegranate seeds and sage leaves all over the tray. Finish with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle the whole thing with olive oil. Drizzle the sage butter over the ricotta. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
*To save time, the pecans can be prepared up to several weeks ahead of time and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Make multiple batches of these delicious pecans and give them as holiday gifts to friends and neighbors.