I love planning our family dinner for Thanksgiving with my mom. We either buy a whole chicken or turkey to roast, and then serve it along with stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce (or jelly) and a vegetable side dish. Pretty standard stuff, but since we only eat like this at Christmas and Thanksgiving, I get excited about it!
My go-to veggie side dish is usually Roasted Brussels Sprouts, but every once in a while I like to change it up. Sometimes we roast broccoli, sometimes we make glazed carrots, but this year we’re trying something very different.
This dish is from one of my favourite cookbooks, Fast, Fresh & Green by Susie Middleton. If you don’t really love vegetables, but you want to eat more of them, I highly recommend buying this book. Most of the recipes are easy, and they are all really flavourful. This might sound a bit dramatic, but this book really changed my perception of vegetables!
Anyhow, we decided to try making these roasted Vanilla & Cardamom Glazed Acorn Squash rings the other day and they were so delicious! I’ve never put vanilla on a vegetable before, but it totally works! The combination of butter, maple syrup, cardamom and vanilla adds a subtle sweetness that compliments the delicate flavour of the squash.
Since you leave the skin on the squash rings, it’s nice to use different varieties of acorn squash in this recipe. They all taste similar, but the different coloured skins look pretty on a plate. During the fall months you can usually find not only green ones, but white and yellow varieties as well.
The two green squashes I used were sweeter than the yellow one, because the flesh on the inside was darker. That’s always an indication of sweetness in a squash (but sadly you can’t tell that until you cut it). I used a LOT of squash when I made this recipe, but that’s because I needed extra for photographing. The recipe only calls for one squash, but you can double that if you need more servings.
Since I love this recipe so much, I asked Susie if I could share this awesome recipe with you. Of course, being the lovely woman that she is, she agreed! I hope you do try out this recipe, and check out Susie’s books as well. She has many excellent vegetable-based recipes!
- 1 small acorn squash (1 - 1¼ lbs each)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (+ 2 tsp more if needed)
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Kosher or sea salt
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise (through both the stem end and the pointy end).
- Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and fibers. Put each half, cut side down, on a cutting board and slice off about ¾ inch from each end and discard.
- Slice squash crosswise into ½-inch-thick half-rings. If you want to, trim away any remaining fibers from the rings by running a paring knife around the inside of each half-ring.
- Place the half-rings on the parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, melt the 2 Tbsp butter over low heat. Remove pan from the heat and add the maple syrup, vanilla, and cardamom, stirring to combine.
- Use a pastry brush to lightly brush squash pieces with a little less than half the butter mixture.
- Season the pieces very lightly with salt and turn them over.
- Brush this side with the remaining butter mixture, reserving about 1 Tbsp for brushing on after cooking. If using a larger squash and you wind up with less than 1 Tbsp of liquid, add 1 or 2 tsp more butter to the saucepan. Season the tops very lightly with salt.
- Roast the squash for 12 minutes in the oven. Use tongs to flip the squash pieces and continue to roast until they are nicely browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes more. The bottoms of the pieces will be browner than the tops.
- Remove the squash from the oven and flip the pieces over so that the browner side is facing up.
- Reheat the butter mixture briefly over low heat if needed (or to melt the additional butter). Brush the butter mixture over the squash slices and serve.
This recipe has been republished from the Fast, Fresh & Green cookbook with permission from the author, Susie Middleton.
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think of it!
This recipe is from the Fast, Fresh & Green cookbook. Fast, Fresh, & Green is published by Chronicle Books.
This recipe has been republished on this blog with permission from the author, Susie Middleton.
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