Now that it's Fall, one of the dishes I love cooking is baked acorn squash. Unlike summer squash, winter squashes aren't as waterlogged and gushy so they stand up to baking and still retain their sturdiness. Once they are baked anything goes. You can:
- put a pat of butter in each, warm in the oven until melted, then serve.
- drizzle with honey or maple syrup, butter, and a grating of fresh nutmeg.
- sprinkle with gorgonzola, pancetta, and chopped fresh sage and bake until pancetta is crispy.
- slice and serve over a bed of spinach tossed with dried cranberries, walnuts, crumbled chevre, and warm vinaigrette.
- sprinkle with curry powder and drizzle with butter, bake 10 minutes, then serve.
- top with chopped chipotle chile en adobo and minced onion, bake 10 minutes, then serve.
- top with garlic and grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
- top with carmelized onions, thyme and prosciutto strips, bake until prosciutto is crisp.
- stuff with any grain (cous cous, quinoa, wild rice etc.) or a combination of cooked ground lamb and cooked rice, bake, serve.
I love it because it's so versatile and when stuffed, as I did it last night, it makes for a pretty and satisfying vegetarian main course.
BAKED ACORN SQUASH (a tutorial)
Place in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Then remove from oven. They will be 80% cooked at this point. Don't they look lovely?
Flip them over and then enhance them using any of the methods I mention above, or if you just want to eat them plain continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Stuffed squash will need 10-20 more depending on what it's filled with. (The couscous took about 20 minutes.) Add a little water to the pan when continuing cooking the squash so it doesn't stick.
And there you have it! These also might be a nice addition to your Thanksgiving table...hint hint!