Last of the Winter Squash

Well, it may not be the last squash everywhere, but Spring has sprung and all that so it’s the last of the winter squash in my house. This kind of makes me sad thinking maybe I didn’t eat enough. Instead I ate too many potatoes and neglected the butternut, acorn, spaghetti and all the rest.

This little Acorn Squash has been sitting in the pantry for several months now ever since I set it in there and forgot it. Quietly it sat, camouflaged in the dark, lost behind boxes of cereal and bars of chocolate. Waiting for something to come along and cause the pantry to be emptied. Something like spring.

Of course, since it is spring, the squash needed a springy preparation. Cutting them into thin wedges cuts down on the roasting time and the dressing bridges the seasonal gap nicely. I paired my squash with salad, but I also thought about leaving the squash in halves and stuffing it with some couscous or some other grain. This is one of those recipes that cries out for personal alterations. Have fun.

Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Chili Vinaigrette

Adapted from Gourmet October 2006 (epicurious.com)

Bunch of mixed greens
handful of chopped walnuts
1 acorn squash
salt
pepper
olive oil

1 clove garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
1 small fresh red chili
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 450°. Prepare squash by cutting in half, scooping out seeds, then cutting into wedges. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a shallow roasting pan in a single layer. When browned on one side, turn over and continue roasting until tender. The recipe said about 25 minutes, but it may take less.

For vinaigrette: Crush or finely chop garlic. Combine with salt in small bowl. Finely chop chili, including seeds. Finely chop cilantro. Add to bowl. Squeeze in lime juice. Drizzle in olive oil. Whisk to combine.

Pile salad greens and nuts on a plate. Add on squash. Drizzle vinaigrette over the whole lot.

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