Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Recipe: Sweet + Spicy Glazed Squash with Black Sesame Seeds

Maple syrup, I'm so glad you're part of my life. What else can be drizzled on pancakes, AND on vegetables? (Except maybe melted butter and I'll take some of that too please.)

I hate to go all Ina on you here (jk I am LOVING that I squeezed an Ina reference in here), but when it comes to maple syrup I'm talking the good stuff. The stuff that comes in a glass bottle and makes you go 'wtf why would someone pay this much for syrup.' THAT stuff. 

Pure maple syrup is one of those things that I really truly believe is worth paying a little extra for. I pick mine up at the Union Square Greenmarket, which mostly is another excuse to go scout samples of maple candy, lamb sausage, goat cheese and cider. Ooohhhh it's just the best place. Makes me happy just thinking about it.

You can also find squash there! And about everywhere, this time of year. Squash and sprouts are tied for my favorite vegetable right now. The nice thing about smaller squashes like acorn and delicata is that the skin, once roasted, is totally edible. (Butternut or spaghetti squash, not so much.) Also, their size is a bit more manageable which means the odds of cutting them up and keeping all your fingers intact is MUCH much higher. Little easier to enjoy dinner when your appendages are all still attached to your body, dontcha think?


Speaking of Halloween - I hope you eat so much damn candy (gluten free, of course) and scare a child or two. This one year my dad rigged up a ghost to swoop down by our front door and a kid peed his pants. In case you need something to aspire to. 

I'll be hibernating (while watching something scary - any recs?) since I have a wedding to go to on Saturday and I'd rather die than be hungover in a gown.

Catch ya in November, dudes! 

Recipe: Sweet + Spicy Glazed Squash with Black Sesame Seeds

1 acorn squash (yellow or green), rinsed and dried 
1 delicata squash, rinsed and dried 
Olive oil, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp coconut oil (in liquid form; microwave for 10 secs if it's solid)
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp warm water
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne (reduce to 1/8 tsp if you don't want the heat to be as apparent)
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Black sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray. 

Cut the top (stem-end) and the bottom off the acorn squash. Rest the squash on one of the flat ends, and cut it in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Place one of the squash halves flat on the cutting board (cut-side down), and slice into half-inch thick half-moons. Repeat with the delicata squash. 

Place all of the squash slices in a bowl, and toss with a big drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the squash on the baking sheets. The squash can be touching, but make sure the entire bottom of each slice is touching the pan (to ensure browning). 

Roast the squash for 20 minutes, until the bottoms are browned and caramelized. 

While the squash roasts, whisk together the glaze ingredients: coconut oil, maple syrup, water, cinnamon, cayenne, sage and nutmeg. 

After the squash has roasted for 20 minutes, flip each piece so that the brown sides are facing up. Use a pastry brush or silicone brush to coat each piece of squash with the glaze. 

Return pans to oven and roast for an additional 10 minutes. When finished cooking, arrange the squash on a platter and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. 

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