And then it got to the point where they were staring at me, begging to be used, and threatening to go bad; I had a heavy work week coming up, and knew that the squash had to be cooked on this one particular night if they were ever going to get cooked. However, I had spent a long time on a lasagna, and was therefore not feeling up to an elaborate preparation, so I just cut up the squash, simply seasoned them, and roasted them alongside the lasagna.
I didn't even peel the squash, as I didn't feel that my fingers or my knives could handle it on that particular day. You'll see in the pictures that the acorn squash are cut into crescents with the skin intact. I later simply scooped them out of their skins and ate them with a little bit of agave syrup.
If you're feeling up to it, you can certainly peel the squash, and I admit that it would be easier to eat that way. You can also use a butternut squash, which is much easier to peel, although that doesn't necessarily mean that it's easy to peel.
You can serve your roasted squash in any of the aforementioned ways, or you can dice it before roasting, and serve it with this cilantro pepita pesto. It sounds like a strange pairing, but trust me--it's delicious. If you come up with any other interesting uses for roasted squash, feel free to share them in the comments.
- 2 acorn squash, or one largeish butternut squash
- 3 pinches cayenne pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Optional: 1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup
If you're feeling up to it, peel the acorn squash. If not, cut it in half and cut the halves (after seeding the squash) into crescents. Here's a third option: cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, and place the squash, cut sides up, on a roasting pan. Sprinkle with the seasonings, but consider using less, as you'll have less squash surface area.
If you have a butternut squash, you should peel it. A standard vegetable peeler actually works well for this, although it probably shortens the life of the peeler. Remove the seeds from the butternut squash after cutting it in half.
If you've peeled your squash, cut it into 1/2 inch squares. Line a heavy baking sheet with foil, and place the squash on it. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the cayenne, cumin, and salt, and mix well with your hands. Spread the squash out into a single layer and cook for about 35-55 minutes (cooking time will vary based on the size of your pieces and the water content of your particular squash), until the squash is very tender, slightly shriveled, and browned.