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Monday, November 5, 2012

Roasted Acorn Squash w/ Parmesan, Garlic, & Thyme {12 Weeks of Winter Squash}

So.  I'm curious - who else watches The Walking Dead?  Can you believe last night's show!?  In.  Tense.  I have not cried that hard in a long time.  I got a bit teary when T-dog was bitten and then sacrificed himself so that Carol could get away.  I liked T-dog.  But I bawled my freakin' eyes out with the whole Lori/baby situation.  I'm talkin', I could barely breathe.  And the thing is - I didn't even like Lori's character.  And I don't care much for Carl's, either.  But the sacrificing herself so that her baby could be born and saying good-bye to her oldest child thing?  Killed me.  And then Rick finding out.  Holy shnikeys.  That was the roughest one since Sophia walked out of that barn.

The Walking Dead reminds me of 24 in that way - nobody is off-limits.  Nobody is sacred.  Enjoy your favorite (and least favorite) character while you can, because they could be dead in a few minutes.  Okay, I just had to air that.  What'd you think?  Did you see it coming?  Because, I totally did NOT.  They have some fantastic writers.

Okay, let's talk winter squash.
Don't you love how just a few, simple ingredients can come together to make one irresistible dish?  I know I do.  That is exactly what's going on right here today.  In the second week of my quest to find new and magical ways to use winter squash, I found something that I believe is going to make its way onto my Thanksgiving table this year.  Of course, I'm saying that about a lot of things lately, but this is a definitely a viable option.

Aside from the soft, squooshy roasted garlic that accompanies it, the dusting of freshly grated Parm is my favorite part.  It adds a sort of saltiness to outside of the squash...and when you shmear your garlic over that and then take a bite of the whole shebang - bliss.

I don't remember if I've ever actually used Acorn squash before.  And that leads me to believe that I probably have not.  I was surprised that it was fairly painless to cut through, plus...I just adore the shape of it.  It's like clouds and rainbows.  And the little girl deep-down inside me finds that utterly irresistible.

Roasted Acorn Squash w/ Parmesan, Garlic, & Thyme

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Keywords: roast side entree vegetarian sugar-free gluten-free squash Thanksgiving Christmas American fall winter

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 medium (-ish) Acorn Sqash
  • 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2-3 Tbs. olive oil
  • kosher or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • ~2 oz. Parmesan cheese (from a wedge)
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cut a small slice from the tip and tail of your squash and then cut it in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds. Cut into slices that are a little thinner than 1-inch thick. You should get approximately 6 slices per half.

Set the slices on a baking tray. Set the whole garlic cloves on the tray. Drizzle both the squash and garlic with the olive oil. Season everything with a good smattering of salt and pepper; rub and turn the squash slices over so that they are coated with the oil and seasoning on both sides. Scatter a few sprigs of thyme over the top (one small sprig per slice is nice). Grate a good amount of Parmesan over each squash slice.

Slide into preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tender and golden in spots. Enjoy hot, warm, or even cold.

Although I could eat this as a main dish all by itself, I LOVE (capital letters) it served alongside some fresh pasta in red sauce with Italian Sausage. That's the best combination.

I also recommend smooshing the roasted garlic out of its skin and rubbing it into a slice before taking a bite. Swoon!
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So simple, yet so durn delicious!  Want to see something else delicious?  Head on over to check out what my fellow host and Winter-Squash-partner-in-crime, Joanne made this week, Acorn Squash Boats w/ Quinoa.  Okay, how 'bout you?  We want to know what you've been doing with winter squash in your kitchen this week.  Add your links below...

1. Squash Boats with Quinoa
2. Roasted Acorn Squash w/ Parmesan, Garlic & Thyme
3. Moroccan Chana Dal Stew with Green Olives & Lemons
4. Mini Squash Bites
5. Warm Wild Rice Nests with Roasted Squash Eggs
6. Pumpkin pie ice cream
7. Pasta with Pumpkin Cream Sauce
8. Butternut Apple Chicken Enchiladas
9. Marbled Pumpkin Ginger Tart

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