Side dish or dessert? I remember the first time I ordered a side of roasted acorn squash in a restaurant, and I commented on how it was more like dessert than an entree. The restaurant served it with butter and brown sugar, and I had no need for dessert after enjoying that treat. Though I like the sweet treatment with squash, for a meal I prefer a mixture of sweet and savory. Sage is a good flavor to add to roasted squash, and I pulled some fresh from the garden for this preparation. Our sage is still going strong, though we’ve had some freezing nights, and I will have to cut it soon to freeze or dry for the winter.
The boys kept peering through the oven window as the squash baked and they demanded tastes as soon as it came out of the oven, though I managed to hold them off for a few minutes explaining how hot it was. The whole time I was trying to get a photo of one half, they were raiding the other, nipping bites here and there.
Sometimes the squash is slightly larger or has a very deep interior, in which case I make another half recipe of the apple mixture, and that was the case with this particular squash. There were even plenty of seeds for me to save for next summer’s garden.
This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, a blogging event that celebrates the dishes we create from foods we’ve grown, raised, foraged, or hunted ourselves. Ning of Heart and Hearth is our host for this round, so be sure to visit her blog for more information about submitting your post. If you are new to the event, you can read more about the rules for participating at the Grow Your Own page.
ROASTED ACORN SQUASH WITH APPLES, NUTS, AND SAGE
adapted from The Occasional Vegetarian, by Karen Lee.
roasting pan, lined with foil and coated lightly with cooking spray
1 acorn squash, 16 ounces (~1/2 kilo) or larger
1 large apple, peeled and diced
4 tablespoons grade B maple syrup (or grade A)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 sage leaves, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Center the oven rack and preheat the oven to 350° F/175° C.
2. Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Scrape the interior until all the strings are removed.
3. Place face down on the prepared roasting pan and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
4. While the squash roasts, stir together the diced apples, maple syrup, lemon juice, walnuts, sage, and cinnamon in the small bowl.
5. Remove the squash from the oven and turn each half over. Portion the apple mixture between the two halves and drizzle a little more maple syrup on top.
6. Return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.