Of all squashes, acorn squash usually gets a bad rap. It seems that butternut and pumpkin are the fall favorites with all the attention they get while they’re around. But don’t forget how this funny looking squash has all the versatility and somewhat peculiar flavor as its’ cousins.This tipsy, ridged winter squash may have a hard rind exterior, but what lies inside is a slightly nutty, milder flavor than say, butternut, and pairs well with many spices. It’s also delicious stuffed and baked with rice, quinoa, or chopped meat as well chopped up and thrown into stews (skin is edible). If you haven’t bought any yet now is the time before they are gone.
It’s delicate, and sweeter flavor (more so than other winter squash due to it’s longer growing period, giving it plenty of time to soak up the sun) had me wondering, why haven’t I been cooking this more often.
Some may say only select the dark green ones, yet the orange ones yield just as delicious results. There are also speckled varieties that taste a little sweeter. All are terrific for roasting in the oven. Overripe squash can be stringy, they usually have wrinkly skin, and can be easily squeezed. Squash should be very firm, without blemishes, which could mean spoilage.
The warm-spiced squash along with the coconut yogurt, tart pomegranate seeds, and a little fresh cilantro, takes this winter squash to a whole new level. I hope you give this spiced acorn squash for its’ flavor and how easy it is … until then, enjoy!
Serves 8 sides
4 acorn squash
few drizzles of olive oil (not extra virgin), about 2 tablespoons or so
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Optional: coconut yogurt (plain flavor) and pomegranate seeds
Note: the spices above are an adapted version of garam masala, if you have garam masala then use that in addition to thyme.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/204 degrees C.
Prepare two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Wash outer skin, then cut the squash in half (lengthwise) and remove seeds. Slice about a 1/4 inch thick. Transfer onto the baking sheets.
Drizzle with olive oil. Combine salt and all the spices in a small bowl then sprinkle evenly over all the slices.
Rub the slices and toss by hand to full coat all the slices. Bake for 30 minutes.
For make ahead: Do not freeze after it has been cooked, it will become soggy. Instead season sliced squash then freeze. After it has thawed drizzle with olive oil, toss to combine and bake.
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