There’s a chill in the air. The days are getting shorter. Holiday spirits are rising.‘Tis the season — for gourds!
At this time of year, they’re one of the stars of the season. But if you’re not familiar with their preparation, their tough skins and mysterious interiors can seem troubling.
Fear not, because learning how to cook an acorn squash is an easy gateway to the glory of gourds. It takes hardly any time or skill, and the finished squash can be used for all kinds of delicious purposes.
Read on for a quick how-to guide from Real Simple that will get you perfect results.
First off: Find your sharpest knife. A little paring knife or a steak knife isn’t going to do it here. Choose something sharp with a substantial handle — it’s actually safer to use a sharper blade than a dull one.
Cut off the squash’s stem; it’s fine if a little of the squash goes with it. Then cut a little off the bottom of the squash to make two mostly-flat surfaces.
Remove the acorn’s skin as best you can. (Alternatively, you can roast with the skin on, but not everyone enjoys the tougher outer layer.)
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Once heated, place the halves cut-side-up on a baking sheet, then top with salt, pepper and generous helpings of butter and olive oil. We don’t want the acorns to dry out!
Bake until a fork easily pierces the flesh, about 45 minutes. Eat it right out of the oven with toppings, purée it, cut it into cubes and use it as a taco filling, make soup — whatever tickles your fall fancy. You can even add cinnamon and brown sugar for a gently sweet treat.