I fully admit that I have never been a fan of squash. The idea of it, especially since it is generally such a beautiful family of vegetables, has always appealed to me, but I have always been disappointed by the taste and texture (other than butternut squash soup, which just happens to be our next post). This isn't to say that I hadn't been open-minded to continuing to try it in different ways. With squash season fully upon us, I decided to start buying them to experiment with. The first one was a massive pink banana squash that I chopped up (with our rather dull kitchen knives, resulting in some wretched hand pain) and put into our crock pot with apples, spices, and sugar. Yet again, I was not impressed. That was until today.
While Alice was still at our house this afternoon after photographing the apple tart, I thought it would be fun to throw something quick together, mainly for another photo opportunity. I wanted to keep with harvest theme so I grabbed an acorn squash off our porch that was mixed in with our hand-picked pumpkins and started slicing it up into rings, an idea that came from the classic Martha Stewart Cookbook. I then followed the rest of the directions and chatted while they baked and I waited for the results. And you know what? I have discovered a brand new love of squash. This was more scrumptious than I can describe, the kind of food that has you shoveling forkful after forkful in your mouth with mutterings in-between of "Oh my God". Further proof of how good it tasted was that we had quite a few adorable little rings and flower-shaped pieces of squash meant to be photographed, but they were too quickly engulfed by Alice to make it to the camera. It is simplicity at its finest with only a small handful ingredients, but filled with so much flavor.
Baked Acorn Squash Rings: from The Martha Stewart Cookbook
1 small acorn squash
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the unpeeled squash crosswise into 1/2-inch slices and place them on a cutting board. Using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter slightly larger than the seed center, cut out the seeds from each ring and discard.
Place the squash rings on a lightly buttered baking sheet. Dot each ring with butter and season to taste. Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar over each ring.
Bake the squash for 15 minutes. Turn the rings over, dot with more butter and sugar, and bake until tender, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Serve hot.