Yes, this is a site about the former community organizing group, ACORN. However, it's Fall, the harvests are coming in, and freshly picked acorn squash are available in stores, at farm stands and farmers markets, and maybe from your own garden. (If the squirrels didn't get to them first.) Here are a few ways to enjoy this fall classic.
Baking Your Acorn Squash
Baking is the easiest method. Wash the outside, cut the squash in half top to bottom, and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Place the halves face down on a greased cookie sheet (I like to line it with foil first for easier clean up), and bake at 350° F for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Turn cut side up, and add a pat of butter and a sprinkling of brown sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup. Depending on the size of the squash, you can serve in halves or quarters right to the plate.
You can also add cubed acorn squash to nearly any stew recipe, along with the potatoes.
Squash Puree or Mashed Squash
Bake the acrn squash as above. Scoop the cooked squash off the rind and place in a food processor or bowl. Add a couple tablespoons of butter. In the food processor, buzz until smooth. By hand, use a fork or potato masher to mash until smooth, or just smash until half smooth. However you prefer! Serve in a bowl with a drizzle of maple syup, or crumble brown sugar over the top. Either will add a lovely sweet ness and a golden brown accent to the bright orange squash.
Roasted winter vegetables
This can be made with any combination of winter vegetables, just watch the cooking times as some don't take as long as others. Depending on your selections (or what you have on hand), it can be a very colorful and tasty addition to your table.
Preheat the oven to 450° F and prepare one or more cookie sheets. (Again, I'm a fan of foil for easier cleanup!) Vegetables need to be prepared with others that have similar cook times, so you might need one sheet for things like potatoes and squash, and another for onions and Brussels sprouts. Once they come out of the oven, you can combine them in a large serving bowl.
All larger vegetables should be cut into roughly 1 1/2" pieces. Toss each batch with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, add salt, pepper, and some rosemary and crumbled fresh thyme (dried works, too) and toss again, then spread on a cookie sheet drizzled with more olive oil. Stir veggies a few times during the roast, about every 10-15 minutes or so. Roast until they can be easily pierced by a fork.
They will be crisp on the outside, tender inside, and the mix of flavors is a delicious addition to most any meal.
|40-50 Minute Roast Time||25-30 Minute Roast Time|
Some classic combinations are:
- Carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and squash
- Onions, parsnips, rutabaga, carrots, potatoes, and garlic
- Potatoes, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, and onions
- Rutabaga, parsnips, and carrots
- Beets, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and parsnips
Acorn Squash Soup
Acorn squash has a slightly sweet taste that pairs well with many other flavors. Soups are a fun and satisfying way to explore some of the many possible combinations, some of which may have an unexpected twist:
- Acorn Squash and Apple Soup
- Crock-Pot Acorn Squash Soup (vegetarian, no pre-cooking)
- Curried Acorn Squash Soup
- Spicy Squash Soup
There are many ways to enjoy acorn squash in a pie! You could simply replace the pumpkin or sweet potato in your favorite pie recipe with the same amount of baked and pureed acorn squash. Or, you could try one of the many recipes out there that are tailored specifically to the subtly different flavor of squash, such as:
- Acorn Squash Pie with Gingersnap Crust
- Acorn Squash and Honey Mini-Pies with Cornmeal Crust
- Crustless Acorn Squash Pie (Gluten free)
If you don't have time to enjoy your squash right away, it can be stored in a cool, dark place for several weeks, or you can roast and freeze it to keep for months.