Spectacular Acorn Squash Recipes

 

They’re everywhere you look these days. Green and round-ish they kinda look like alien pod people could erupt from them at
any moment. But wait, don’t be alarmed, it’s just that acorn squash are in season and they’re affordable, available and just waiting for you to take them home.  These green and orange/gold and hard squash are, in my cookbook, the best squash to cook to bring fall flavor
to your table. They are chock full of vitamins and beta carotene and lend themselves to sweet and savory dishes with equal aplomb. As far as I can tell their only drawback is that they can be insanely difficult to peel. That issue aside, they’re yummy delicious and oh so good for you.

Acorn squash available from August through March; however, they are at their best from October to November when they are
actually in season. To peel the raw acorn squash you gotta have muscles, good knife, a ton of patients and quite possibly a few band-aids. Personally, I prefer to roast the squash, cool it and then scoop out the good stuff. Some people prefer to steam it but roasting or baking it seems to give most recipes the maximum burst of flavor.

Acorn squash along with other members of the winter squash family (denoted by their hard protective skins) can, for the most part, can be used interchangeably. Acorn squash are cheap right now and it is so satisfying and versatile that you have no excuse not to try these hearty recipes.

 

ACORN SQUASH WITH BLACK BEANS AND QUINOA

 

3 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon margarine, melted

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup raisins

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

6 teaspoons shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Arrange squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, or until tender. Remove the squash from the oven. While the squash is baking, heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic, celery, and carrots and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Add the black beans and raisins and continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and set the mixture aside. In a saucepan boil the broth and add the quinoa. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until quinoa is done according to the directions
on the package. Add the cumin, salt, and pepper to the quinoa and mix to combine. Add the vegetable mixture to the quinoa and mix to combine. Mound each squash half with the quinoa mixture and sprinkle the top with the cheddar cheese, if using. Return the squash to the oven and heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

 

ITALIAN SAUSAGE STUFFED SQUASH

 

3 acorn squash

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1/2 cup bell pepper, diced

3 green onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 pound mild Italian sausage

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 stalks celery, diced

1 teaspoon ground pepper or to taste

salt to taste

2/3 cup maple syrup

 

Preheat oven to 400. Cut both ends off of the squash and then cut it in half width wise and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into 2 inch rounds for a total of 12 ring slices.  Arrange squash rings in single layer on a foil lined rimmed cookie sheet.

Melt butter in heavy medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper,garlic, celery and green onion. Saute until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Place the vegetables in a large bowl and let cool for about 15 minutes. Add the sausage, pepper and salt. Divide mixture into 12 portions and mound mixture in center of squash rings. Brush sausage and squash with half of syrup. Bake 15 minutes. Brush with remaining syrup and bake until squash are tender and sausage is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Makes 12.

 

ACORN SQUASH WITH CORN SOUFFLE

 

2 acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup milk or half and half

2 eggs

1/2 cup to 1 cup corn kernels (fresh is best)

1/3 cup chopped red onion

Pinch of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

2 to 3 green onions, sliced thin

 

Preheat the oven to 375.  Cut a small slice off the bottom of the squash to make sure it sits level. Make sure not to cut all
the way through so that the filling won’t run out. Brush the inside of the squash with oil. Place cut side up on a baking sheet. Cover the squash with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.

 

While the squash is baking, in a bowl combine the milk, eggs, corn, the red onion, nutmeg, and salt. When the squash is cooked fill each of the squash halves about 3/4 full with the corn mixture. Continue baking uncovered for another 30 to 40 minutes. Done time will depend on how big the squash is and if the soufflé is set. When you feel that everything is done sprinkle the cheese on the top and put it under the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese and make it bubbly. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. To serve place on a platter and sprinkle the top with the green onion. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled. You may have extra filling. Just grease a glass baking dish, pour it
in and bake until it’s set. About 30 min.

 

Submitted by Cary Whiteside NY NY

ROASTED ACORN SQUASH AND APPLE SOUP

 

2 acorn squash, seeded and cut in large pieces

6 cups apple cider

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 tablespoons honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Slices of granny smith apples dipped in apple cider

1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces

 

Preheat oven to 400.  Place the squash in a stock pot. Drizzle honey over the halves. Pour apple cider and stock over the squash.
Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and then cook for about 45 minutes to an hour until the squash is tender.  Remove the squash pieces and let them cool. Scoop out the flesh of the squash and put it in a food processor or blender and puree it with some of the broth.  Continue
the process until all the squash is pureed and everything is returned to the stock pot. You can strain this at this point but I never do. You can adjust the consistency with stock or cider depending on your preference. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a dollop of cinnamon sour cream a few toasted pecan pieces and a slice of apple in each bowl. Serves 6. This recipe can be doubled.

 

Cinnamon Sour Cream

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

In a small bowl combine the sour cream and cinnamon and mix to combine.

 

SQUASHED SOUP

1 acorn squash, seeded and sliced but not peeled

1 large butternut squash, seeded and sliced but not peeled

2 zucchini cut into chunks

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon curry

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon white pepper

salt to taste

olive oil and butter

1 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

 

Preheat the oven to 375. Drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan and place pats of butter underneath the squash slices on the pan, placing the acorn and butternut squash flesh side down.  Cook it all for about 30 minutes or until it begins to soften. Add the minced garlic to the bottom of
the pan and cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Let the squash to cool to room temperature. In a stock pot combine the broth with the zucchini and onion and cook at a low boil until the onions and zucchini are soft. When the acorn and butternut squash is cool enough to handle scoop the flesh into a food processor or blender. Add the broth and vegetables and process until you’ve got a nice not too thick not too runny consistency. You will need to do this in batches. Place everything back in the stock pot and season with curry, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Mix to combine and cook for an addition 2 to 3 minutes until everything is hot. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Submitted by Marsha Parker Oaklawn IL

 

SQUASH STEW

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 2 large onions, chopped

2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic

1 large acorn squash, peeled and chunked

1 1/2 cups (about 1/2 pound) green beans cut in half

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)

2 tomatoes, diced

1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

1/2 cup barley

1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Salt and black pepper, to taste

 

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes, until onion begins to become translucent. Add the squash chunks, green beans, and chile and saute for another 4 or 5 minutes. Add the corn, barley tomatoes, broth, and vinegar. Cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for 30 or 40 minutes, until squash and green beans are tender and the barley is cooked. You may need to add a
little more liquid if this is cooking up too quickly and is too thick. This can be served over a baked potato. Serves 6.

 

WILD RICE AND ACORN SQUASH TOPPED WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 medium acorn squash, quartered and seeded

 

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

11/2 cups wild rice mix

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small red onion, diced

2 teaspoons minced garlic, minced

 

Roasted Vegetables

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 medium eggplant, cut into chunks (1½ cups)

2 cups baby carrots

2 cups sugar snap peas

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Cranberry sauce for garnish, optional

 

To make acorn squash: Preheat oven to 350. Coat baking sheet
with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Whisk together olive oil,
maple syrup, soy sauce, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of water in small bowl.
Brush inside and edges of acorn squash wedges; place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until squash is soft enough to prick with tip of
knife. Keep warm.

 

Cook the rice according to package directions and then set
it aside. Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion
and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the cooked rice and pine
nuts, and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

 

To make roasted vegetables: Heat olive oil in Dutch oven or
large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the eggplant in oil 10 minutes, or until
softened. Add carrots and sugar and sauté 5 minutes more, or until carrots
begin to brown. Add 2 cups water, cover, and steam vegetables 10 to 15 minutes,
or until soft. Add snap peas, and steam 2 to 3 minutes more. Season with salt
and pepper.

 

To serve: Place 1 Acorn Squash wedge on each plate. Spoon
the rice mixture into center of each squash quarter, and top it with the vegetables.
Sprinkle the top with the chopped parsley, and add a dollop of cranberry sauce,
if desired. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Modified
from vegetarinantimes.com

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