I was looking for an interesting side dish to go with the grilled pork chops I was making the other night and decided to use up one of the beautiful acorn squash I had lying in the bin. I love the earthy sweetness of acorn squash but was looking for a little something different from the usual cut it in half and roast it with a little brown sugar and olive oil.
As I glanced around my fridge I ran across a leftover piece of ginger root and I had half a cara cara orange left from another dish (if you haven’t tried the cara cara, it’s time! It’s a lovely grapefruit pink inside with amazingly sweet with just enough tartness). My mind started working on what to do with those ingredients and my acorn squash.
I end up slicing the acorn squash into slices somewhere between 1/4″ and 1/2″ thick and laying them on an oiled baking sheet. Then I zested the orange and the ginger. My ginger piece was about an inch long and made plenty to flavor one squash. I added a little brown sugar to a bowl, about 3 tablespoons and around 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Then stirred in the ginger, orange zest and squeezed the juice from the half an orange into the mix. Finally I added plenty of fresh cracked black pepper to bring some zip to the flavors.
I sprinkled the squash with just a hint of sea salt and then spooned the mixture over the acorn squash, put on the pepper and popped the baking sheet into a 325° to slowly roast for about a half an hour or until soft and the glaze had caramelized over the squash.
I have to admit the only easy way to eat the squash was to pick it up with your fingers and bite it out the same way you would a watermelon slice but it was so worth it. The flavors of the orange and ginger along with the spicy black pepper on the squash was wonderful. It was sweet but not too sweet because the pepper really helped keep it down.
My husband came home from work and eyeballed the squash carefully and thoughtfully before I finally convinced him to give them a try. The next time I looked over (I was finishing up the pork chops) he had eaten three or four of the slices. The recipe is a keeper and while maybe not the most elegant dish to serve it was a fun and different take on acorn squash.
Give them a try to see if your taste buds love them as much as ours did. It was an easy dish and didn’t take much time, not to mention the wonderful nutritional qualities found in the acorn squash. This is a dish that I’m sure even children would love.
Ginger Orange Glazed Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash, sliced into between 1/4″ and 1/2″ thick slices
orange zest from one half an orange
orange juice from one half an orange
ginger, minced or zested (about 1″ piece or more, depending on your tastes)
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste
Preheat oven to 325°.
Slice up the squash and place on a greased baking sheet.
Mix together the orange zest, orange juice, ginger, brown sugar and olive oil. Spoon evenly over the acorn squash slices and then sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
Place in the oven and roast until squash is soft, about 30 minutes.
Serve hot or room temperature.
Makes about 3 servings.
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