Spice up your menu with an easy, delicious side dish!
Squash is hands-down one of my favourite winter vegetables. I love it in soup, risottos and so much more and it makes frequent appearances as a side dish in all sorts of meals I serve. The only downside, to me, is that roasted and/or mashed squash doesn’t add a lot of beauty to the plate. It just kind of sits there, delicious as can be, but trying ever so hard not to look like baby food. As for acorn squash, I particularly love its flavour but those hard green orbs are tricky to peel and simply quartering and roasting them makes for a rather unwieldy piece of squash on the plate. I decided to try slicing the raw squash and roasting it – eureka! It is such a fast way to prepare it and it looks very pretty on any plate.
Sliced acorn squash looks prettier on the plate than a blob of mashed squash. Cardamom and maple syrup give it an irresistible flavour punch.
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) freshly-ground green cardamom seeds (can use powdered cardamom instead but it is not as aromatic or flavourful)
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Slice the squash in half from top to bottom. Lay the halves, cut side down, on a cutting board and slice crosswise into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) segments.
- Lay the squash slices out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with cardamom.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- While squash is baking, melt butter and combine with maple syrup.
- After 25 minutes, remove squash from oven and brush the tops and inside (not the green rind) of the squash slices with the butter and maple syrup mixture.
- Bake for an additional 15 – 20 minutes until squash is very tender when pierced with a fork.
- Serve hot. Note that you can roast the squash ahead of time and reheat, covered, in the oven or gently in the microwave.
Serves 4 – 6.