Thanksgiving is right around the corner. That means a big celebration with family and friends in a kitchen or dining room with delicious food. While most consider turkey the star of the meal, I look at dinner differently.
I look forward to the stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and veggies. To me, the sides are the best part. I always like to include a seasonal squash dish so today I bring roasted acorn squash with cranberry sauce to the table.
I grew up in an Italian and Croatian family. Thanksgiving dinner was a 3-hour event that included soup, antipasto, some type of pasta, turkey with all the trimmings, assorted pies, pastries and fruit. Dinner took so long to eat that we would rest in between courses.
The funny thing was that no one ate the turkey after filling up on so many other goodies. But when 8 pm rolled around, it was time to make a huge sandwich piled with leftover turkey and all the trimmings. This is when the turkey would get eaten.
Now that I have my own family, Thanksgiving is a little different. Our meal is a bit smaller and we usually don’t have a huge lasagna before the main dish like years in the past. But I still make plenty of sides and turkey is still the last thing to be eaten at dinner. The leftovers are still used to make those delicious sandwiches. This pretty acorn squash gets a place on the table along with other vegetables.
The squash is roasted with just a drizzle of salt and olive oil. The roasting brings out the sweet nutty flavor, and then the squash is tossed with a cranberry sauce glaze and sprinkled with roasted sunflower seeds or pepitas. You can use a homemade cranberry sauce or a store bought one if that is what you prefer.
This acorn squash is perfect to make for your Thanksgiving feast but I tend to serve it all fall and winter. It is perfect as a side dish poultry or pork. Try this dish and I know you’ll realize it’s not just for Thanksgiving!
- 3 acorn squashes, large
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds, or pepitas
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash squash and place in the microwave on a paper towel for 3 minutes to soften. This will make it easier to cut.
- Cut the ends off each squash. Then cut the squashes crosswise into slices 1/2 inch thick. Cut out and discard the seeds, leaving a neat circle.
- Place the squash rings in a large bowl and toss with olive oil and salt.
- Arrange the squash rings on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Use two sheets if necessary.
- Roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes (for desired tenderness), turning once or until squash is fork tender and starts to brown.
- While squash is roasting, melt butter in a small sauce pan. Add cranberry sauce and cook on low heat until mixture comes to a simmer.
- Arrange roasted squash rings on a plate. Drizzle the cranberry sauce over the squash and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
Le Creuset Jelly Roll Pan
360 Bakeware Jelly Roll Pan
Demarle Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls