I am just a little squash fiend these days. I can’t get enough of it. Butternut is my sentimental favorite, as you might be able to tell from recent postings, but I’m open to sampling the whole lot- acorn, spaghetti, you name it. There’s pretty much always some sort of winter squash sitting on the kitchen counter just waiting for inspiration to strike.
I’ve had some great acorn squash in the past. For instance, at the same dinner party at which Dylan first wooed me with this salad, he also broiled fantastic little wedges of acorn squash stuffed with craisins and brown sugar. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a man who cooks like that? Acorn squash can be wonderfully nutty and velvety, but as it turns out, it’s not foolproof. Wanting to try a new flavor profile (rather pairing it with brown sugar for that typical sweet combination), I took a stab at a recipe I found here on Recipezaar. Though it had gotten good reviews and sounded pretty interesting (what isn’t improved by the additional of cheese and nuts?), it was thoroughly lackluster. Entirely edible and FINE, but just not at all exciting and (dare I say it?), the gruyere and walnuts really didn’t do anything for the squash. No worries, my yen for winter squash continues, unabated, but this is one recipe I won’t be trying again.
Roasted acorn squash with spinach and gruyere (serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main)
1 acorn squash
10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed
4 oz shredded gruyere
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
salt and pepper
1. Rinse the squash and cut each in half lenghthwise: scoop out and discard seeds; Place squash halves, cut side down, in a 10-by-15 inch pan.
2. Bake in a 400 degree regular or convection oven until squash is just tender when pierced, 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, squeeze moisture from spinach; in a bowl, mix spinach, 3/4 cup cheese and walnuts; season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. With tongs or a spatula, turn squash halves over and spoon spinach mixture equally into cavities of squash; Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
5. Return squash to oven and bake until cheese melts and filling is hot in the center, 15 to 20 minutes, Serve.