My success with butternut squash lasagna propelled me to give acorn squash another try. In the past, I have stuffed the hey-de-ho out of these suckers, thrown them in the oven, and called it a night. Maybe I’ve been living with Paul too long, but I felt that if you stuffed enough sausage into any vegetable, it would turn out OK. I never really enjoyed this preparation method (sshhh… don’t tell Paul).
So, when I found a recipe that called for a vinaigrette rather than a sweet glaze or a sausage stuffing, I thought I had a winner. Now, let me be clear. This is not a bad recipe. In fact, many people who tried it gave it thumbs up. But more on our differing opinions in the results sections. I give you this recipe as a precursor to Thanksgiving. If you want a squash on your turkey day table but are sick of mashed bits, then give this one a whirl.
The original recipe comes via epicurious.com. (Note: I know, I know… I said no more epi-crack recipes. But, to be fair, I wrote that post after I wrote this one. “What?!” you say. “How can this be?” Well, the truth is out. I’m a time traveler. Totally mastered that skill back in fifth grade science class. Yup, that’s what they taught us in the gifted program. Time travel and how to juggle.) As always, the following includes my modifications.
Acorn Squash with Chile Vinaigrette
- 2 medium acorn squash
- ½ t black pepper
- 1 t salt, divided
- 6 T olive oil, divided
- 1 garlic clove
- 1½ T fresh lime juice (I used the juice of one lime.)
- 1 to 2 t finely chopped fresh hot red chile, including seeds
- 2 T chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 450°. Halve squash lengthwise, then cut off and discard stem ends. Scoop out seeds and cut squash lengthwise into ¾-inch wide wedges. Toss squash with black pepper, ¾ t salt, and 2 T oil in a bowl, then arrange, cut sides down, in two large shallow baking pans (You will need two. I thought they fit in one, but alas, there are lot of little wedges). Roast squash until tender and undersides of wedges are golden brown, 25-35 minutes. (My oven is a bit tricky… especially after Paul’s oven fire last week. So, it took a bit longer for me.)
While squash roasts, mince garlic and combine with remaining ¼ t salt. Transfer paste to a small bowl and whisk in lime juice, chile (to taste), cilantro, and remaining ¼ C oil until combined (I’d drizzle in the oil, as if you use it all it might be a bit oily). Transfer squash, browned sides up, to a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.
I love this vinaigrette. It is amazing and would taste great on salad or fish or even fruit. (I like papaya with spicy sauces.) But, as amazing as the sauce is, you’re still pouring it on squash. Roasted, mushy, weird textury squash.
So, I give this recipe a big ick on the texture scale. Taste scale it gets an eh (my math: ick squash + rock on vinaigrette = eh). Now, Paul loved it and Mr, Moo decided that is was mouth worthy (rather than floor worthy). I guess it’s a win for the fam. (Lucky me, because I don’t want to eat it as left overs.) It works warm, room temperature, or cold.