roasted acorn squash with walnuts

I know that a lot of people look forward to the return of fall because it means OMG PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!!!!, but I look forward to the return of squash – specifically acorn squash. I love acorn squash. I make it into soup, I make it into rolls. I microwave it so it steams, and eat it with just a bit of butter. I also love to roast it. I was thinking about new ways to prepare it when I thought about paring it with maple syrup and walnuts. The maple syrup caramelizes beautifully, and the walnuts toast up slightly and add a wonderful crunch. This is one of my favorite weekend lunches because it makes two – one for you and one for a friend. If you wanted to serve this as a side dish, you could cut them into large chunks once they are cooked.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Walnuts

makes 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash, cut in half stem to tip, seeds scooped out
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, covered with foil and lightly oiled, place the two halves skin side down. Lightly brush the flesh with the olive oil. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and brush the flesh with the maple syrup. Pour any remaining maple syrup in the hollowed out center. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and just a pinch of cayenne pepper if you would like a little heat. Divide the walnuts between the two halves. Stir gently to mix with the maple syrup.
  4. Return to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. They will be done when they look caramelized and a fork pierces through the flesh easily.
  5. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl. The bowl allows you to scoop out the squash while eating it without burning your fingers.

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