There is a chill in the night air here in Northern Colorado. The days are cool enough to walk at noon without feeling too overheated. I have spotted a few leaves here and there changing color. The moon at night and the clouds at twilight are gorgeous. Fall is meandering in and it is so welcome. The end of summer fun is bittersweet but I do so love fall!
Tonight we had a few lovely friends over and when I brought out the food someone said, “Ah, the first fall dinner of the season.” I think that is because I roasted some acorn squash. Acorn squash is an easy to make and delicious to eat side dish that just announces fall. I also held on to a bit of summer as I grilled balsamic glazed chicken in the backyard.
Acorn squash is a winter squash, which means it is havested mature with a outer hard rind. It keeps for a long time in a cool place. It is nutritious, with high levels of vitamin A,C, potassium, fiber and other good things. Research indicates that winter squash have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, as well as insulin-regulating properties.
So just in case you have not tried simple roasted acorn squash, I will share the technique with you so you can announce fall in your neck of the woods.
Sweet Roasted Acorn Squash
I usually plan for ¼ to a ½ squash per person. If you have several side dishes and large acorn squash, ¼ is sufficient. If you can find small ones, the presentation is prettier if each person gets a half. If possible, find organic, locally grown squash.
This time I had very large squash and plenty of food so it was a ¼ per person.
Wash the squash and place on a cutting board. With a large, sharp knife, carefully cut it in half, through the stem end. If you are serving it in quarters, cut each half in half again.
Clean out the seeds and membranes with a spoon.
I like to line my large rectangular baking pan with foil. Place the cut squash, skin side down, on the pan.
Melt a good amount of butter. About 2 TBSPN per squash, but more is fine J
In a small bowl, mix a half cup or more of brown sugar with about 2- 3 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and 1 tsp. ground ginger. These amounts are just general guidelines. I actually never measure any of this so just go with what feels right.
Pour melted butter over the sliced squash. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix. If you would like, you can sprinkle more sugar over the squash or drizzle with maple syrup.
Cover loosely with foil and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes until browned and bubbly but not dried out. During this time I like to baste the slices with the butter/sugar goodness from the center of each slice. If they look dry or not spiced enough, add more of whatever you need as soon as you uncover it.
To serve, plate and drizzle any sauce that spilt out over the squash.
To liven up this simple recipe, Add some chopped pecans or walnuts, a couple handfuls of date bits and/or raisins along with the sugar and spice at the beginning.
Okay, that is it for today’s recipe. Sneak peek at tomorrows— tonight I also served a mac and cheese with a surprise ingredient that is a more healthful and lower calorie version than my typical mac and cheese.
Okay in closing I'd like to share a couple pictures of yesterday’s gorgeous fall sunset.
Is Fall beginning to be felt where you live?What are your favorite things to cook in Fall?
Here are a couple pics of our dinner guests.
|Isn't he adorable!|