Friday, December 2, 2011

Roasted Acorn Squash with Mint, Sumac, and Pistachios

Lacking sunflower seeds, I made this squash recipe from ecurry with pistachios instead.  Wary of sumac, I decreased its role in this dish.

In the end, it's really the quality of the squash that makes or breaks a squash dish.  And it's so hard to tell from the outside.  I liked the flavor combination, but the final product ended up a bit underwhelming.  I think with a different squash, though, it would be great.  If anyone knows how to dowse for good squashes, please let me know.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Mint, Sumac, and Pistachios
(adapted from ecurry)

1 medium acorn or butternut squash or pumpkin (about 1-1.5 lbs) 
2.5 TB olive oil
1 TB honey 
1 TB lemon juice 
1/2 tsp cumin, crushed 
1 tsp sumac 
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
2 tsp dried mint 
1/2 c fresh mint leaves, torn 
1/4 c shelled roasted pistachios

1. Carefully cut the squash into half . Scrape off seeds, pulp and strings with a spoon and discard. Slice them in to 1/2 inch thick wedges.Remove the skin if you want, or you may want to leave it in if you find difficult to peel. I usually peel them with a sharp knife before I cook.
2. Combine 2.5 tablespoon olive oil, honey, lemon juice, cumin,, sumac, salt, red and black pepper and dried mint leaves and whisk it.
3. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a baking tray, place the squash wedges, pour the whisked oil and lemon mix and toss well for the wedges to be well coated. Lay wedges on their sides, in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast, and carefully turn halfway through, until golden brown on both sides, about 30 – 40 minutes.  When the squash is done baking and is tender and golden brown, remove carefully from oven and toss the seeds and the chopped fresh mint leaves over the squash, toss the slices carefully to evenly spread the seeds and the mint, and bake at 300 F, for about 5 more minutes. Serve warm, with a sprinkle of red crushed pepper, sumac and more mint if you want.  Serves 3-4 as a side.


monster said...

Acorn squash can be on the bland side for a winter squash. Especially lately, I've been disappointed by the pale, anemic acorn squashes I've been finding. I might go with butternut or kabocha. And I find my farmers market winter squashes are so far superior to the ones at the grocery store...

If you do go with acorn squash, make sure its skin is deep in color. And the flesh should be golden, not pasty. In general, winter squash should feel heavy for its size, have firm, unblemished skin, and sound hollow when you tap it. Store it in a cool, dry place (not refridge). And I find, given the unpredictability of our temperatures here, best to use them fairly quickly (I've had squashes dry out within a week).

Nada said...

Julia, I've just stumbled across your blog and I can already tell it's going to become a favourite. Your recipes are so creative and you use some of my favourite ingredients. Sumac and pistachios, dates and cauliflower? Genius! Can't wait to read more.

Julia said...

Simchi, that is so helpful! Thanks!
Nada, thanks for your comment. I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago and am really enjoying it!