These went fast, like within minutes. I’m picky about my squashes, but acorn squash has a soft, yammy texture and is not too sweet. Add in some fall spices, and it’s a savory dessert (before you have dessert, of course). The combination of sugars also caused some giggling and repeated reciting of Steve Brule. Yes, it has come to natural sugar highs. Maybe I’ve graduated from HFCS?
1 acorn squash
1 tablespoon butter or ghee
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup Nutmeg, freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon a few cloves
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400, and make sure your rack is in the middle. Using a strong knife, cut the squash lengthwise, and remove the stem. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Score each half several times with a knife. Rub the butter around the insides, drizzle the maple syrup, sprinkle the brown sugar, and top with the nutmeg, cinnamon, and a dash of salt and pepper. Add the cloves into the belly of each half. Place the squash in a baking pan, and add a 1/2 inch cover of water to the bottom so the sides don’t burn. Place in the oven for 60 to 75 minutes, until the center is soft and the top slightly toasted. Plate and serve immediately.
Green vs. orange acorn squash: Ana’s question in the comments below prompted me to add in this note. The most common acorn squash you will find is green, sometimes with spots of orange on it. This is a cousin of the orange acorn squash.
Much of nature’s produce is green when mature (from chlorophyll), and then as it ripens will change to the warmer hues of red, orange, or yellow. The most common example of this ripening is with the bell pepper. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are just riper green ones. That’s why you find them later in the season at a local Greenmarket. After maturing, the pepper ripens on the plant, which continue to inject it with sugar to make it more appetizing, and so the result is sweeter. At the same time the shell or skin will become softer and more supple. In a grocery store we tend to find the greener versions, because they travel better and have a longer shelf life.
Ana, your squash is actually a cousin of mine, and is harvested when green, while mine ranges from golden to white, and is slightly sweeter, but I’ve only found at Greenmarkets.