Ready for one of the easy-peasiest recipes ever? Because this is it. I’m here to help.
I’ve already confessed my love for gourds of all kinds in a previous blog, and acorn squash is no exception. My biggest problem with acorn squash is that most recipes insist on adding even more sugar…brown sugar, maple syrup, whatever…to an already deliciously sweet vegetable that is bred for even more sweetness. I realize as a culture we love to mainline sugar, but this? Makes squash a little boring. One-note. There’s no complexity to the flavor it delivers.
So how do we season it?
Some other way!
When do we do it?
OK, for real…this is probably the closest I’ve ever come to being a cheerleader. And I digress.
We’re going to roast our acorn squash, fer sher. Only we’re going to do so with a little savory thyme, a little Parmesan cheese. It will still be sweet and delicious, but also a little nutty and herbal-cheesy-toasty fragrant. Is there anything that could possibly be wrong with that?
No. I didn’t think so.
Here’s what you need for two squash-loving hungry people, or four normal people who can share what’s in a bowl.
- 1 acorn squash, unpeeled and thoroughly washed (the skins are edible!)
- 1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- enough olive oil to coat the squash
- salt & pepper to taste
Seems simple so far, right? Right.
Preheat your oven to 425°. Cut your squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and then cut those halves into half-to-3/4-inch half-moons.
Put the squash in a large mixing bowl. Coat it with olive oil and add in the salt and pepper and thyme. Give it all a really good toss around until it’s all nicely coated.
Then lay the slices of squash out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Food needs room to cook, so don’t let the squash overlap or crowd too closely together. Sprinkle the tops of the slices with half the Parmesan. What’s nice about this is, you really don’t need a lot of cheese and you still get a lot of flavor.
Put the squash in the heated oven. Go do something else for twenty minutes. I don’t know; read a blog, go pet the cat. Make a salad. It’s up to you. At the end of twenty minutes, flip the squash and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on it.
After another 15, maybe 20 minutes in the oven, they’re ready to eat. These are–literally–a dish I have to walk away from before I stuff myself silly with every bit of squash I can wrap my greedy little mitts around.
The squash gets nice and soft and a little creamy, almost. The skin and heavily browned parts get a little crispy. And it is all? A crazy-good way to expand your vegetable repertoire and shake up the side dishes, which aren’t always the most interesting part of a meal. Who needs canned peas when you can have this? And all you do it cut some stuff and stick it in the oven! Super-easy-peasy. We served this last week with Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe Sauce and Fiery Onion Relish and I’ve already made this squash again. It’s that good.