Asian Roasted Acorn Squash

Asian Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranate and Brown Butter Sesame Seeds - it's beautiful and amazingly delicious!

Have you gotten in a rut with your holiday side dishes? Do you feel like you always make the “same old-same old”? Maybe you just want to make your table sparkle with deliciousness ………… or for your guests to gasp with delight …………..
…………. I mean, I’m not trying to steal the show from the turkey or anything like that …………… no, nothing like that……….. I’m just thinking that you, along with everyone else, are going to LOVE this new twist on an old faithful friend, the humble acorn squash.

Asian Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranate and Brown Butter Sesame Seeds - it's beautiful and amazingly delicious!

Acorn squash is usually cut in wedges or quarters and filled or brushed with some kind of buttery, sweet, heavenly concoction …………… Don’t get me wrong, I love this way of preparing and enjoying this seasonal veggie, it’s just that I’ve had one variation or another of this for as long as I can remember. This time I wanted something a bit different …………..something a bit more ………….. unique, fun and flavorful.

Asian Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranate and Brown Butter Sesame Seeds - it's beautiful and amazingly delicious!

Have you ever noticed the beautiful ruffles that an acorn squash has? Maybe not, cause when you slice it in the traditional manner; in wedges, quarters or halves, the lovely pattern of this squash is undetectable, it’s sort of, what I call ……….. incognito. But just flip it on it’s side and slice it crossways …………… wow!, little slices of art work are unveiled with each stroke of the knife!

I roasted these fun, ruffly slices of squash with olive oil, crushed coriander, sea salt, pepper and a bit of brown sugar until tender and beginning to caramelize. A quick brush with a sweet, sticky Asian glaze and back in the oven they went till they’re were done to perfection. A scatter of fresh herbs, pomegranate seeds and yummy brown-butter toasted sesame seeds is the crowning glory.

Asian Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranate and Brown Butter Sesame Seeds - it's beautiful and amazingly delicious!

Have I convinced you to get out of that rut? Whether it’s for a holiday dinner, a Fall gathering of friends or even an everyday, weeknight meal, make the menu dazzling with this healthy, vibrant vegetable side.

Asian Roasted Acorn Squash w/ Pomegranate & Brown Butter Sesame Seeds

Ingredients:
1 large or 2 small acorn squash
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon crushed coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the Asian glaze:
1 teaspoon seame oil
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Sriracha chili sauce
Ingredients for the garnish:
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon butter
sea salt, a pinch
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
2 green (spring) onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds*
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil and grease well with olive oil.
2. Melt butter in a small sauté pan. Watch carefully and continue cooking until butter begins to brown and has a nutty aroma. Add sesame seeds at this point and stir continuously for another two minutes. Turn out onto several thicknesses of paper towel and allow to cool. Set aside for garnish.

3. Cut acorn squash in half from top to bottom. With a tablespoon, scoop out seeds and stringy pulp.

4. Lay squash, cut side down on cutting board and cut each half into approximately 1/3″ slices.

5. Combine oil, brown sugar, crushed coriander seed, sea salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add squash and stir with a large spoon or use your hands to make sure squash is coated with oil mixture.

6. Place sliced squash on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with any extra oil from the bowl.

7. Roast squash for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and brush a small amount of glaze mixture over each piece of squash and finish roasting for 10 more minutes.

8. Transfer squash slices to serving platter and scatter with green onions, cilantro, pomegranate seeds and brown butter sesame seeds.

Note:
* ~ Are you intimidated by pomegranates? Honestly, it couldn’t be simpler to remove the seeds. Check out this post for a step by step tutorial on How to De-seed a Pomegranate. These fresh seeds taste infinitely better than the ones you can buy in a package and are much more economical. Right now pomegranates are selling for around $1.50 at my local markets. You get quite a few seeds from one pomegranate and they are delightful in salads and desserts.
4-6 servings


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