Sunday, October 30, 2011

sweet & spicy roasted squash

i made these last night for a halloween party to which we were meant to bring spooky foods, so i called them goblin ribs.* when you make them, you can just call them delicious!

delicata squash is fantastic when roasted with an asian-inspired glaze that is equal parts sweet and savory and entirely tasty.

do you know the delicata squash (Cucurbita pepo)? it's one of my favorite winter squashes because it's dead easy to cook and you can eat the skin, so you don't have to take your life into your hands as you (i) do when trying to peel butternuts and the like. it's also a good size - two people can eat one and not have ridiculous leftovers.

all you do here is preheat your oven to 375. then trim the top and bottom from the squash and cut it in half. scoop out the seeds with a spoon. if you're the adventurous type, you could roast the seeds too, but we just got composting here in portland and my roasted squash seeds are never that awesome, so i don't feel too bad tossing them.

then cut each half into ~ 1/2 inch thick slices. don't they look a little like ribs? weird little alien goblin ribs, maybe? or maybe not. whatever.

just spread the slices on a cookies sheet and drizzle a little olive oil over them - maybe a tablespoon or two. then stick them in the oven for half an hour or so, flipping them after maybe 20 minutes or whenever the bottom sides are browned. while they're cooking, mix up the glaze.

i wanted them to be nice and garlicky, so i minced up two big cloves of garlic. you can use however much you prefer, though. mix this with about a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon and a half or so of soy sauce. you also need a good few shakes of pepper flakes - however much you feel comfortable with. i also used a teaspoon of molasses, but you can skip that if you don't have any. it does add some nice depth, though.

pour the glaze over the sliced squash and stir it around a bit so all the slices get covered. then stick it back in the oven for 5 or 7 minutes - just until it gets nice and sticky and the garlic cooks up. you don't want it to burn, though, so keep an eye on it.

ta da! the glaze melts into the squash a bit and gets kind of candyish. these are good just eaten with your fingers, but you could also have them atop a salad or in a sandwich with some chicken or with rice and greens. you could also use the glaze on other winter squashes, like acorn or something.

*for the curious, other spooky foods included chicken witch's fingers, more witch's fingers made of cheddar-thyme gougères (soon to appear here), broken leg bones of phyllo-wrapped asparagus, pig-in-blanket eyeballs, and other delights. it was a deliciously spoooooky repast.

1 delicata squash

2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
pepper flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon molasses (optional)

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