Introducing: The Acorn Squash (and TWO recipes!)

Feared by some, devoured by many... behold the acorn squash! A smaller, acorn-shaped character in the winter squash family, this vegetable can be baked, steamed, boiled, microwaved or sauteed. Despite the "winter" designation, acorn squash is usually easily located year-round. One squash served two generously. A larger squash can be quartered to serve 4.

Like butternut squash, this squash has a tough skin that is challenging to cut into. Use your sharpest knife and cut straight through the middle from top to bottom.

Here's what a healthy acorn squash should look like when cut in half- orange-colored flesh similar to pumpkin, along with smaller versions of the pumpkin seed.

Scoop out the stringy centers and seeds before cooking. Some recommend using a metal ice cream scoop to do this but I personally feel like a large metal spoon does the trick just fine.


Roasted Winter Squash with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage
Browned butter really seems to be "in" these days. I've seen great recipes for browned butter pasta and I'm dying to try this recipe for Browned Butter & Peanut Brittle Ice Cream from the Jan. '08 Bon Appetit! Sage and brown butter are a creative pairing that work well together. I love the way that sage crisps up when you fry it in butter. This recipe is delicious. It made a great lunch all by itself with a green salad and a teeny glass of Viognier (my new favorite white wine!) This recipe is from Cook's Illustrated: The Best Vegetable Recipes.

Acorn Squash Halves with Orange Pecans
"We're not a nut family," is something that I often hear my husband say. Despite his protests, I make things with nuts in them all the time. He eats everything I decide to prepare, so his aversion to nuts can't be all that bad. I served this recipe alongside a simple roasted chicken. We liked it a lot (but not as much as the previously mentioned recipe). There is definitely an orange flavor to it- I used fresh-squeezed OJ and peel. This recipe comes from William's-Sonoma: A Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash.

Ok... I've cooked, eaten and conquered the acorn squash. Your turn!

Click on recipe titles above to find the recipes.