Baked Squash - © 2008

Festive Sides: Baked Squash

We’ve already covered the traditional squash casserole, in the form of a purée with a crumble crust on top. It’s a great traditional Festive Side, but it’s not the only way to enjoy Winter Squashes. And the casserole is on the sweet side, so let’s learn to make a savoury Squash dish!

Baked Squash - © 2008 elanaspantry.comHere’s a nice variation, with a little Cranberry Compote and
Diced Apple Bits in the central depression… Or, fill the depression
with sausage stuffing! Use your imagination
to make
this simple, classic Squash Bake your own…

This one is super easy. And you’ll love it.

Depending on how many diners you want to serve, select one or two nice, heavy Acorn squashes at your fave supermarket or produce mart, take them home and wash them well. The heavy ones have the thickest walls and the most flesh, which is the part you eat.

Cut the Squash into even halves across the middle, remove the seeds and fibres with a sharp spoon or ice cream scoop, then cut the halves into quarters, yielding eight Squash wedges, total, for each original whole Squash. If you get small Squashes, use halves or quarters, rather than eighths, to define your portion size. Place the pieces flesh side up on a cookie sheet, pizza pan or shallow casserole dish.

Sprinkle each Squash piece with fresh ground Black Pepper and Salt. Add a nice nub of butter (2 Tsp.) to the central depression of each squash piece. Add 1 Tsp. Maple Syrup to each piece, pouring it over the butter into the depression.Then, add just a pinch of fresh chopped Rosemary to each piece and bake for an hour in an over that’s been pre-heated to 350 F. About half way through. use a small pastry brush to paint some of the melted butter/syrup/herb mixture from the depression of each Squash piece onto the exposed (cut) edges, so they don’t dry out and get tough.

Bake until the flesh of the Squash is fork tender, but not mushy. Serve hot from the oven as is, on the skins. Nice presentation! And a nice change from the ubiquitous Holiday Casseroles!

~ Maggie J.