When I was a little girl, I remember my mom and dad making acorn squash. Mom would slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and fill it with butter and brown sugar and bake it until it was caramelized and browning on the top with the buttery sugar mixture forming a tiny pond of goodness inside the divots where the seeds had been.
I didn’t like much about winter squash back then but now… I adore it.
I love to fix butternut squash, spaghetti squash and play around with recipes for them. My daughter loves squash fixed with sugary goodness like my parents but of late, I have just loved changing up some of the sweet recipes for squash and sweet potatoes to savory based ones.
I don’t know why it never occurred to me to try an acorn squash recipe.
Acorn squash, named for it’s shape resembling the acorns that squirrels have been known to fight over, is one of many fall squashes to try, and their seeds have been touted to taste even better than pumpkin seeds, so when you make this dish, don’t throw away the seeds!
This dish also comes together pretty quickly. Roast or grill a pork loin, and while it’s cooking, slice these up and pop them in the oven to roast. Make the pesto quickly in your food processor and impress your family and friends with this beautiful fall side dish that isn’t like anything you’ve had before.
Start out by slicing the ends off your acorn squash. I would use on acorn squash for two persons for a generous serving, or one acorn squash for four persons for smaller servings.
I love the flower shape these make when you slice them. And did you know? You can eat the skins of these! They are tender enough.
Now toss the ends in the trash, and slice the acorn squash in half long ways. (from stem end to the other end).
Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds like you would a pumpkin or butternut squash.
Turn the squash orange side down (flat surface), and slice ½ inch slices until it’s all sliced up.
Add these to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil just until everything is nicely coated. Toss it in the bowl with a large spoon, tongs or even your hands to coat them all. Alternately, and to conserve wasting oil, you can lay them out and brush them with a pastry brush with the olive oil, flip them and brush the other side as well.
Lay them out on a baking sheet lined with foil, parchment paper or a Silpat, and arrange them so they are not touching.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper over each slice.
Pop them into a 400 degree oven until squash is browning on the orange parts, about 30 minutes.
While that’s cooking, haul out your food processor.
Toss in 1 cup of fresh sage leaves, 1/2 cup pecans, 2 cloves of garlic and ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese or another dry aged cheese that you love. Also add in ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper and pop on the lid.
Press the pulse button about 10 times and then keep pulsing and drizzle in the olive oil a little at a time.
You want your pesto to be a little rustic and not completely pureed.
Your roasted acorn squash should now be nice and golden and caramelized.
When your squash is done, layer it out on a platter, overlapping it slightly to make it pretty. Spoon the pesto over top down the middle of the slices.
Serve everyone 4-5 slices to start.
Each wonderful bite of the squash will have a dollop of pesto on it.
Wouldn’t this make an elegant dish at your Thanksgiving table this year? I guarantee you, no one else will have thought of it. It’s different…
In a delicious way.
Want to see what other Food Network Fall Fest bloggers are cooking up with winter squash? Check out the delicious recipes below!
Feed Me Phoebe: Baked Acorn Squash with Maple-Siracha Glaze
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Thai Red Curry Chicken with Winter Squash
The Lemon Bowl: Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Winter Squash
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Provencal Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Chickpeas
Weelicious: Cinnamon Roast Butternut Squash
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Creamy Squash Rigatoni
Blue Apron Blog: Acorn Squash Tempura Tacos
Taste With The Eyes: A Hearty Tomato Soup with Sausage and Spaghetti Squash
Devour: Winter Squash Macaroni and Cheese
Dishin & Dishes: Roasted Acorn Squash Crescents with Sage Pecan Pesto
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Pumpkin & Apple Slices with Maple Syrup
Red or Green: Butternut Squash Salad with Kale, Cranberries and Cayenne
Virtually Homemade: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Basil Walnut Pesto
Domesticate Me: Chipotle Pork Tenderloin and Butternut Squash Tacos
Daily*Dishin: Kahlua Baked Acorn Squash
FN Dish: Comforting Winter Squash Sides
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