Wednesday, November 14, 2012
FOOD: Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
To some, the word "squash" might conjure up bad memories of being force-fed the stuff at dinner. Unlike many, I have some great memories of eating squash on cold winter nights - maybe because my mom always doctored it up to taste more like a dessert than a vegetable? I feel the same about sweet potato casserole. I could eat bowls of the stuff at Thanksgiving!
It's funny what a little brown sugar and maple syrup can do. It transforms a simple squash into a delicious fall side dish. I'm not promising that your kids will miraculously turn into squash lovers overnight, but this recipe might give them a boost in the right direction.
The acorn squash is actually a very pretty (and tasty!) vegetable, and you can find it at most grocery stores right now. If you've never tried making squash before, never fear! This recipe only involves a few simple knife cuts and a handful of ingredients. Who knows, maybe it'll even be a new addition to your Thanksgiving table!
ONE: pick up some acorn squash at your local grocery store or farmer's market. You should choose squash that are a decent size and heavy when picked up. Lighter ones usually indicate that they've lost water and are drier inside. Look for acorn squash with some orange coloring, which indicates maturity. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
TWO: with a sturdy knife, cut your acorn squash in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp. Discard the innards.
THREE: score your squash several times (which will help it cook and absorb the seasonings better.)
FOUR: place the halves in a casserole dish filled with an inch of water on the bottom. Fill each half with 1-2 tablespoons of butter.
FIVE: fill each half 3/4 full with brown sugar.
SIX: drizzle syrup into each half and then cover with foil. Cook in a preheated oven for 45 minutes on 350. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until tender. Insert a fork into the flesh to check for doneness. Serve immediately.
I like to scoop each bite of squash and dunk it into the maple and brown sugar in the middle, it's so good! I hope you enjoy this recipe, it's an old favorite of mine. And, if you're not already, I hope it's turned you into a squash lover like me :)