Thursday, November 06, 2014

Maple Syrup And Cayenne Glazed Acorn Squash
Spicy And Colorful Fall Side Dish

Roasted acorn slices make a wonderful dish for Thanksgiving.

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It's November - Time to Start Cooking!
I don't know what it is, but in November my urge to cook triples. Maybe it's the cool weather or the countdown to Thanksgiving, but I want to just fill the house with colorful winter squash, persimmons, pomegranates, pears, and all the other wonderful fruits and vegetables that are so plentiful this time of year. Just yesterday I developed five recipes for upcoming blog posts that I will be sharing soon. Doug and I happily ate from morning to night. It's tough work but someone has to do it :-)

Acorn Squash
This little winter squash is so adorable. I just want to decorate the entire dining table with them! I'll admit they are hard to cut and Doug usually attacks that job (given that I'm prone to slicing off pieces of digits.) But I thought that slices of roasted and glazed acorn squash would make a great Thanksgiving or holiday side dish. They are easier to serve and one doesn't have to commit to an entire squash half. Doug was able to make the cuts directly on the ridges so the slices were extra cute. 

Winter squash is an excelled source of alpha and beta-carotene as well as lutein and zeaxanthin.
Acorn squash is high in Vitamin A, C, thiamin and B6 as well as magnesium, potassium, and manganese.
It's an excellent source of dietary fiber too!
   *                        *                      *

Roasted Acorn Squash Glazed with Maple Syrup and Cayenne
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 4 servings]

Requires a large, rimmed baking pan. Non-stick or lined with a Silpat sheet preferable.

1 (8 inch) acorn squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne papper (or to taste)*
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
* You can also used any other pepper such as chipotle, black pepper, or your favorite spicy seasoning such as mitmita, hot pimenton or others. Adjust amounts accordingly.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice 1/2 inch from the top and bottom of the acorn squash. Slice in half vertically, trying to stay between the ridges, and scoop out the seeds. Proceed to slice the acorn squash along the ridges or make each slice around 1 1/2 inches wide.

Mix the oil, maple syrup, cayenne and salt in a large bowl. Stir until it is well combined. 
Dip each slice into the bowl and with a small spoon, drip the mixture onto both sides and the inside of the slices. 

Place the dipped slices on their sides on a non-stick, rimmed, roasting pan or one that is covered with a Silpat sheet. If you use a regular rimmed roasting pan, make sure you grease it first. This will make cleanup easier as the maple syrup will caramelize. 

Bake in the oven until they soften, about 20 to 30 minutes. Flip over and cook until a fork easily pierces the squash, another 10 to 15 minutes. 

Serve immediately as a side dish. For dinner last night, we had them with Tamaki Haiga rice and Brussels Sprouts that I cooked in five minutes in my new pressure cooker. I will share that simple recipe in the near future.

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