One of the ingredients during fall that I cherish most is acorn squash. Of course, I relish all things pumpkin and apples during these autumn months. But, I find the simplicity of roasting acorn - or even butternut - squash this time of year to be something quite special.
One of my family's favorite ways to prepare acorn squash is to cut it in half and roast it with a little butter, nutmeg, salt, pepper and maple syrup. My Sweet Roasted Acorn Squash is always a hit and everyone loves grabbing a spoon and diving in to their own personal serving.
But, we, also, love it cut into slivers and roasted with various spice combinations and toppings. For this recipe, pumpkin pie-style spices get sprinkled onto olive oil-coated acorn squash wedges that get roasted to perfection and drizzled with a little real maple syrup. The crunch of a few toasted pumpkin seeds as garnish add a nice textural component.
This would be a beautiful and delicious addition to your Thanksgiving dinner table. The squash gets tender on the inside while taking on a slight char around the outer edges (my favorite part). The spices add a touch of warmth that definitely are reminiscent of the flavors associated with fall. And, the slightly-reduced pure maple syrup contributes just the perfect amount of sweetness.
1 acorn squash, halved and seeds/membranes scooped out
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 - 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds (toast in a dry skillet over low heat for a few minutes)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice squash using a sharp knife into a little less than 1/2-inch slivers.
Place slices into a large mixing bowl. Add in the olive oil and toss to coat. Add in the sugar, salt and pepper. Toss again to coat.
Arrange slices in a single layer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. (You may need to utilize two baking sheets.)
Combine the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the slices.
Roast in oven for around 30 minutes (or until squash is tender and some charring is starting to appear around edges).
Meanwhile, reduce the maple syrup over medium-low heat in a small saucepan until thickened slightly - just a few minutes.
Drizzle thickened syrup evenly over squash wedges.
Sprinkle on toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.
NOTE: Store-bought pumpkin pie spice can be utilized in place of the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove mixture.