Shout out for the recipe today goes to the Real Food Dietitians who made fun of the usual squash recipe that involves brown sugar and butter, which is what we did first because tradition is tradition and I am not a registered dietitian. Nor have I ever claimed to be a dietitian, unless there are some advances made in the field of eating family size packs of Oreos in a short time frame. (You have to dunk in milk and let them get absolutely soggy. Fight me.)
As you all may or may not remember, I am trying out the whole vegetarian thing lately. I actually went to a Vegan festival this past weekend thinking that it would be vegetarian friendly and it was definitely an experience. I got nothing against vegans, I’d like to lean towards more vegan choices but it is sometimes just cheaper and easier to use dairy, eggs and honey.
I did make an effort this week though and replaced the ghee with olive oil and used nutritional yeast instead of parmesan. I’m going to tell you all that it was me being mindful but it was 99% that I had no ghee and parmesan actually uses rennet.
I’m going to give you all the 4-1-1 on why I chose squash for this week. I believe I have mentioned it before, but I work in a grocery store and I got all these squash (besides the butternut) from the decorative bin. People buy these things all the time and talk about the fall displays they’re going to build and all this, but don’t realize they’re edible.
EAT THE SQUASH.
Also, I’m going to save you some hassle and give you a little tip. Always read the sign or tag to see if you are paying by quantity or by the pound when you’re in the produce department. Most of these are 1.48 per lb and some can go as low as 88 or 78 cents a lb at stores so just keep an eye out for the different types and whether or not they are by quantity.
Back to acorn squash, this seems to be the more iconic to me when you see squash represented in cartoons or shows. Somebody wants a weird squash, you bring them an acorn squash. The name could not be more perfect for it because it just looks like a giant green acorn. There are other varieties of acorn squash, but the most common one is the green acorn.
I don’t want to get too hippy here, but isn’t it pretty awesome to see a naturally occurring pattern like this? If I were into bento boxes, these would be great additions to a nice little bento box Instagram post. Acorn squash is just all about inciting fall in your mind from the way it looks to the name itself, here is hoping the taste is something to write home about.
Once they’ve baked in the oven for a while, they remind me of some kind of weird french fry almost. They’re not crispy, but they are like a potato wedge you can just pick up and eat instead of trying to be all proper and using a knife and fork.
If you decide to use parmesan, you take it out when the parmesan starts to get brown, I just wanted to make sure the skin wasn’t too tough when I take a bite into it.
So, they don’t taste like acorns, although I have no clue what an acorn tastes like so I just imagined it tasting like any kind of nut, which it does not. However, they still have a slightly sweet undertone and when you bake it like this with herbs and olive oil it really takes on a nice savory flavor which was welcome after chowing down on that sweet butternut mix.
The skin is a little bit chewy, but in a good way. It reminds me of eggplant skin which I love and have been making eggplant bacon the past two weeks for some amazing sandwiches. The actual flesh of the acorn squash has a creaminess to it, but because we got some nice thin slices here, it isn’t as velvety as the butternut squash. It reminds me more of a zucchini taste but the herbs and nutritional yeast give a nice layer of umami flavor (there is your $10 word of the day).
These would make an awesome side for any classic fall dishes that aren’t soups or chilis, but it is an autumnal freshness that I really can’t put into words.