Recipe: Roasted acorn squash can be a valuable member of holiday meal lineup

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A holiday meal relies on side dishes to build delicious tastes and textures. Whether the main course is prime rib, turkey or ham, here’s a squash-centric dish that will be a scrumptious team player.

Acorn squash, with its splendid top-to-bottom fluted exterior and acorn-like shape, has impressed me as prettier to look at raw than delicious to eat. The pale, fine-textured interior seemed to lack pizzazz. But that was before I discovered that high-heat roasting it cut in strips and coated with olive oil, brown sugar and paprika, makes it irresistible.

Halved, seeded, and then cut into 1-inch wide slices, the skin gets crisp in the oven, the flesh becomes caramelized to creamy-tenderness with a sweet edge. A final garnish of pepitas and coarsely chopped Marcona almonds, adds texture contrast and a welcome nutty flavor. Now it is one of my favorite winter squashes.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 acorn squash, washed, dried, halved top to bottom, cut crosswise into 1-inch slices

Coarse salt

2 tablespoons roasted pepitas

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped Marcona almonds

Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley

PROCEDURE

1, Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar and paprika. Add squash slices and toss to coat. Place in single layer on rimmed baking sheet; if any oil mixture remains in the bowl, spoon it over squash. Season with a little coarse salt.

2. Roast in middle of preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn with spatula and roast an additional 10 minutes. Transfer to plate and season with a little salt. Top with pepitas and Marcona almonds. Garnish with parsley if desired.

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Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

      

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