Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Cumin Scented Acorn Squash: Recipe Follows

Sandwich with roasted acorn squash

Though NYC has yet to get a frost this fall, winter squash is dominating my local farmers market.

I used to just cut a squash in half, scoop out the seeds and roast it cut side in with a little olive oil. Actually, before learning to do that I hated every manner of winter squash. Probably because I grew up with both sweet potatoes and winter squash relegated to overly sweet side dishes, often boiled and served with brown sugar.

best recipe for roasted winter squash

Fall and winter foods while summer lingers

But winter squash has an earthiness and richness that make soups sing and salads filling.

The raw ingredients 
And one of the hardest parts of preparing acorn quash isn't even necessary. You don't have to peel the raw squash; if you roast it long enough, the hard skin tenderizes and makes a chewy contrast to the caramelized flesh.

Raw squash, ready for its close up.  And the oven
Just make sure to trim away the inedible stem and surrounding area. But don't toss the hard bits! Use use the hard scraps and stringy flesh clinging to the seeds in vegetarian stock, which thickens it and adds a layer of complexity.

Roasted acorn squash
Roasting squash with olive oil and salt is fine, but adding herbs or spices is also nice. I was sent a couple of Spice Island seasonings to test and the cumin called out to me. Sprinkling it on before roasting made the winter squash stand out in salad [and in a sandwich the next day]. Even on a hot and humid October night

Best recipe for roasting winter squash

One acorn squash, about 3 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt


Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the squash and cut in half along a ridge. Slice it along the ridges and discard seeds, stringy flesh, stem and hard bits around the stem [Or save and toss into vegetables you are using to make stock]

Spread the olive oil on a roasting sheet and add the squash slices. Sprinkle on half the cumin and salt, turn slices and sprinkle on remainder.

Roast until flesh caramelizes and skin softens, about 30 minutes. I like to turn the slices over half through so they brown evenly.

Use in salad or a sandwich with blue cheese and baby arugula.

Note: I was sent Spice Island spices samples but was not otherwise compensated. Opinions expressed are my own.

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