I picked these gold acorn squash because I liked their elongated shape and pointy ends. I was not sure about how to cook them. So for a first attempt, I sliced them, removed the seeds and steamed them until soft. I then peeled them and mashed them into puree with olive oil, salt and thyme. I thought it was good, but it required too much work for a small quantity of puree. I then sliced them in two and roasted them cut-side down for about 30 minutes. I added lemon and honey dressing and served them with roast chicken. Not bad, but I was still looking for something more substantial, so I decided to fill the cavity with mushrooms topped with a saffron flavoured cheese. The result was wholesome and satisfying and wiped away Autumn blues.
- 2 acorn squash
- 2 red onions
- 200 g chestnut mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 teaspoons ricotta or feta cheese
- A few strands of saffron
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)
- Cut the acorn squash lengthwise. Remove the pips and the stringy pulp.
- Brush the inner section with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in a hot oven 180°C for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, thinly slice the onions.
- Clean the mushrooms with a damp kitchen towel and slice them.
- Finely chop the garlic cloves.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy pan and fry the onion on medium to low heat until tender.
- Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
- Incorporate the mushrooms, stir and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt, freshly milled black pepper and allspice.
- After about 30 minutes, when the squash is soft enough to insert a fork in, fill the cavities with the onion/mushroom mixture and return it to the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Soak the saffron in the milk.
- Take the squash out of the oven, top each half with the cheese of your choice, spoon the saffron milk over it and return to the oven for another 7 minutes.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.