Sunday night after arriving home an hour later than expected (grr), I got to work on Fast, Fresh & Green's Vanilla and Cardamom Glazed Acorn Squash Rings.
1 small acorn squash (1 to 1.25 lbs)
2 T. unsalted butter, plus 2 t. more if needed (I used Earth Balance)
2 t. pure maple syrup (I used a Trader Joe's Maple Syrup/Agave blend)
1.5 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. ground cardamom (I didn't want to spend $15 on something I would only use 1/8 teaspoon of, so I googled alternatives and used cinnamon)
Kosher salt (I used sea salt)
1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Line a large (18x13x1-inch) heavy-duty rimmed sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.
2. With a sharp chef's knife, cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise (though both the stem end and the pointy end). Scrape out the seeds and fibers with a spoon.
2. Put each half, cut side down, on a cutting board. Slice off about 3/4-inch from each end, and discard. Slice the squash crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick half-rings. If you want, you can trim away any remaining fibers from the rings by running a paring knife around the inside of each. Put the half-rings on the parchment paper.
3. In a small sauce pan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the maple syrup, vanilla, and cardamom. Stir well. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the squash pieces with a little less than half of the mixture. Season the pieces very lightly with salt and turn them over. Brush this side with more of the mixture, but reserve about 1 tablespoon for brushing on after cooking. (If using a larger squash and you wind up with less than 1 tablespoon of liquid, add 1 to 2 teaspoons more butter to the saucepan). Season the tops very lightly with salt.
4. Roast the squash for 12 minutes. Use tongs to flip the pieces over. Continue to roast until they are nicely browned (the bottoms with be browner than the tops) and tender when pierced with a paring knife, 10 to 12 minutes. Flip the piecces over again when they come out of the oven so that the browner side is up.
The squash was in the oven for only a few minutes before the essence of fall filled my kitchen and livingroom. It was heavenly!
5. Reheat the butter mixture briefly over low heat if necessary (or to melt the additional butter). Brush the butter mixture over the squash slices and serve.....and submit to the mind numbing goodness....
I think next time I make this I will trim the skin. It softens up and is edible, but it was a tad weird texture wise so I peeled it off. This squash is so delicious it's criminal! Plus, it so easy and fast to make and now that I have my agave/maple blend this dish will only cost me a few dollars to make each time depending on how much squash is going for. Right now at most groceries stores it very inexpensive. Tis the the season for hard squash. I think the glaze would be brilliant on other veggies as well like carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash.
When the amazing smell hit the air the uncontrollable urge to have stuffing took over. So, I used this recipe from Savvy Vegetarian as a guide, cut it down and made a little stuffing using a leftover baguette I had.
Sautee basic onions, celery, and garlic.
Tear up baguette in awesome 1970s tupperware.
Fall Sunday supper!