I love it when I find a recipe for a dish that is fun, seasonal, healthy, and pretty. This month, I had an acorn squash sitting on my counter top for longer than I would care to admit. (Luckily, they keep really well!) I wanted to use it, but I just kept putting it off. Then a couple of days ago, I was leafing through one of my many favorite cookbooks, Mrs. Chard’s Almanac Cookbook: Hollyhocks and Radishes, by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson. This cookbook is so much fun to simply look at, with lots of stories and beautiful illustrations about life in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. And the recipes are beguiling too, with many of them based on local, seasonal produce. I found a recipe for acorn squash that caught my eye, and I am so glad I found it that I wanted to share it as soon as I could get a blog post together. The recipe combines acorn squash with apples and a brown sugar/lemon juice/ginger mixture. Not only does this combination taste really great together, but it also looks so festive. And it is super-easy–most of the time it is simply baking away in the oven, warming up your kitchen and making it smell divine. You can scoop out the apple/squash mixture and serve it in bowls, but if you find small enough acorn squashes, they serve as their own pretty bowls. The only thing I did to change the recipe is that I cut it down by thirds, since I was only making enough for my husband, myself, and our children this time. And truth be told, not everyone in the family is a squash-lover. But some of us are, and we really enjoyed this side dish. (I even converted one non-squash-lover into a squash fan!) For the recipe I post below, I will use the amounts given in the above-mentioned cookbook. However, if you are cooking for a smaller group, just divide by half or thirds. If you are looking to jazz up a standard squash dish or need a fun dish to make for guests, this is a good one to use.
Apple-Filled Acorn Squash
- 3 acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 4 tart apples, peeled and sliced
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- about 6 Tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place squash halves, cut-sides down, in a buttered baking dish. Bake 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, and ginger.
Turn baked squash over and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Fill with apple mixture, then dot with butter. Return to oven for another 25 minutes. Enjoy!
This recipe comes from Mrs. Chard’s Almanac Cookbook: Hollyhocks and Radishes by Bonnie Steward Mickelson.