Chile-Lime Acorn Squash


Chile-Lime Acorn Squash 

Adapted from Gourmet

When it comes to entrees, maybe 1 out of every 3 we make come out really well.  But vegetables, one of America’s most unpopular food categories, knock my socks off nearly every time.  Despite popular opinion, vegetables taste freaking awesome.  I mean, no, not those steamed-in-bag frozen ones, or almost anything steamed, really, but well cooked vegetables steal the show on our plates more often than not.  I’m pretty convinced that roasting + oil + salt is God’s gift to produce.  Just that much will produce a pretty delectable result every time.  But then there’s recipes like this one that will really blow your mind.  Acorn squash is usually prepared with butter and brown sugar (delicious), but this out-of-the-box preparation is outrageously good.  I had it as a snack the other day, but it would make a great side to a Mexican or Asian meat dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt, divided
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp Sambal Oelek, or another red chile sauce (Sambal Oelek is amazing, and pretty easy to find in the Asian section of your grocery store)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Halve squash lengthwise, then cut off and discard the stem end.  Scoop seeds and stringy flesh out.  Slice along the ribs to create wedges.
  3. Toss wedges with pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 tablespoons oil.
  4. Arrange squash on their sides on a baking sheet.  Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.
  5. While squash roasts, make vinaigrette.  Mince garlic.  Place 1/4 teaspoon salt on the cutting board with the garlic and use the flat side of your knife to mash into a paste.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic-salt mash, lime juice, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and chile sauce.
  7. Transfer roasted squash to plates and drizzle with vinaigrette.
  8. Side note, extensive Googling has led me to believe you should not eat the skin of winter squash, including acorn.  I just peeled it off as I ate.

Serves 4 as a side (I ate 2/3 of it as a snack).

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