March 6, 2011

Sweet Roasted Acorn Squash

This Cook's Illustrated recipe has in my repertoire for some time. I've been meaning to post it for, I don't know, the last few years or so. It's easy, relatively quick, and exceedingly delicious. It's rich and sweet and better than candy as far as I'm concerned. That being said, I don't make it all the time because the butter and the brown sugar probably outweigh the benefits of eating squash with dinner. (I have tried this with less butter and sugar and it is great that way, too.)

You do have to be careful what you pair this with, since it is a sweet and decadent side-dish. I've made a meal of nothing but this and sauteed kale and been thorough satisfied. Whatever you decide to make to serve with this, I do hope you try this recipe. It is technically still winter, so make this while you still can. Before you know it, spring will be here! Hip, hip, hooray!

Roasted Acorn Squash
  • 2 medium-sized acorn squash
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  1. Adjust top oven rack to 6-inches from element. Pre-heat the broiler.
  2. Cut each acorn squash in half. Scoop out all of the seeds and strings. Make sure to really get all of it out or the glaze will not seep into the flesh of the squash . (This step is a little onerous.)
  3. Place the four halves in a large microwave-safe glass bowl, such as a Pyrex. (The open halves will be facing the sides of the bowl.) Add a little less than 1/4 cup of water to the bowl, then cover the bowl tightly with a couple layers of plastic wrap. Poke 4 small holes in the top for the steam to vent. Microwave for 10-15 minutes, or until the squash offers no resistance when poked with fork. Carefully remove from the microwave. Open the plastic wrap of the side away from you to let the steam out.
  4. Place halves face up on a tin foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Cut lines criss-crossing the squash (this helps the glaze sink in and makes the squash taste better!).
  5. Heat butter, brown sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small pot over low heat on the stove. Whisk occasionally, until it dissolves. Divide mixture evenly over the four squash halves, making sure to coat every inch.
  6. Broil until brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Serves 4

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