The acorn squash is one of the most common and readily-available winter squashes. It’s also full of flavour, easy to work with, and keeps extremely well. It can be sliced into wedges or rings, baked, deep fried, roasted, or even grilled.
You might remember we did a little acorn recipe leading up to Thanksgiving as part of a squash trio (click HERE). That’s one of the simplest ways to make acorn squash, and it’s a true classic.
This time, however, we’re going even more classic with the most basic acorn squash technique you can imagine. It almost borders on a dessert, but as a side dish it works incredibly well with just about any entrée you can imagine for the fall.
First, thoroughly wash your squash and make sure to remove any stickers left on from the store.
Next, cut your squash in half. It doesn’t matter if you do it top to bottom or across the ribs, but if you do the latter you’ll need to make it lie flat by also cutting the stem flush and cutting the point off the bottom.
TIP: The sharper your knife the better. Raw squash can be tough, and you don’t want to get your knife stuck halfway through. And be sure to keep your hands clear when cutting!
With the squash halved, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. You want to remove as much stringy material as you can. It’s edible, just not the tastiest or the nicest texture.
From this point, you can do almost anything you like, from stuffing to roasting to even microwaving. We’re going to do a basic one in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pierce the flesh of the squash a bunch of times with a fork. Place the halves cut side down on a lined baking sheet or a casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.
Pull the baked squash from the oven and flip the halves over. Dot them with butter and, if desired, jab some more fork holes in them. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cinnamon, and top with brown sugar or maple syrup. Put them back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.
That’s all there is to it. When the squash is soft enough to poke through easily with a fork it’s done. Each half is a serving, but they’re also quite filling so make it one to a customer and you’re sure to have some leftovers!