Molasses-Glazed Acorn Squash

by Matt on November 13, 2008

Mattarmendarizphoto

Is there some sort of cheap plastic switch nestled deep inside my brain
that gets reset each time the season's change? I swear my friends, I
become some automated eating robot that's completely incapable of
making my own choices when it comes to food. Take Autumn. It wasn't
some gradual ease into the season at my house but a very! drastic!
change! of! the! seasons! I began snubbing the grill and light summer
veggies almost immediately in favor of the tastes that currently rule
my existence: caramelly, sticky, roasted, savory, smoky, braisey, deep
and dark. And you know what? I couldn't be happier.

When I think about it, it may be my body's way of overcompensating for
the fact that where I live we don't really have seasons at all. I mean,
other than Santa Ana Winds Season, Awards Season, TV Sweeps Season,
Summer's-Almost-Here-Get-To-The-Tanning-Bed-And-A-Little-Extra-Restylane-While-We're-At-It-Season.
You see what I'm sayin', right?


High on my list of fall foods are my beloved winter squashes. I kid you
not by saying I'd eat them every single day if Adam let me. I'm content with them being main dishes and not just sides. I will concede that they aren't always the most versatile things ever (hey, they're no tomatoes and garlic, for example) but that's ok. They don't have be an everyday thing. And that's probably what makes them so special to me.

Last year I wrote about a very delicious Winter Squash Puree with Shaved Parmesan. Yep, I'm still enjoying that delightful recipe from the lovely Amelia Saltsman and her book stays with me at all times. But I've already told you that.  This year my dearest friend Grace-Marie shared her recipe for glazed acorn squash with me and I was bowled over in its simplicity. I'd say it'd be a perfect side to a roast chicken or pork loin but I haven't gotten there yet. I'm still stuck on repeat. 

Grace Marie's Molasses Glazed Acorn Squash
Yea, this would be pretty much at home on any Thanksgiving table this year and it'd also be home on a fork making its way into my mouth right about now. Buy a few extra acorn squash to use as centerpieces because they are so goshdarn pretty, ain't they?

4 medium acorn squash, skin on (slice in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, then slice into 2-inch thick wedges
1/4 cup molasses (as mild as you have, nothing too strong n powerful)
4 tablespoons unsalted melted butter
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, a really good one!
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.  Cover a baking sheet with foil and top with parchment paper. Combine and mix the molasses, butter, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add squash and toss to coat well. Arrange the squash onto the baking sheet and drizzle any remaining glaze over the top. Roast the squash, turning once, until tender. You can poke it with a fork to check for doneness, this will take about 30 minutes.

Grace-Marie says any yellow- or orange-fleshed squash works just as well in this recipe. And there you have it.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

maggie November 13, 2008 at 7:20 am

Yum. And beautiful photos. I may have to pick up some milder molasses. I do find that blackstrap sort of takes over anything I put it in.

I sometimes have trouble slicing through raw squash—a few minutes in the microwave helps.

Blushing Hostess November 13, 2008 at 7:20 am

Matt, you're doing food again! And it looks delicious and tasty as always! Be well, The Hostess

robin November 13, 2008 at 7:54 am

I can't imagine living in a place where you didn't feel the seasons change all around you. But I think your overcompensation is just right.

matt wright November 13, 2008 at 9:49 am

I am loving the great Autumn style to your photos right now. The black table, elegantly simple rustic dishes, and of course amazing food with brilliant photography.

When I was in LA for while the lack of seasons really bothered me I have to say! Glad you are finding a way to enjoy them, even if you don't have any trees down there :P

Dawn November 13, 2008 at 10:05 am

Season, Shmeason, we are all internally programmed to start bulking up for the winter, when food is scarce – or at least it was hundreds of years ago. OK, OK it was a good try, but as I sit here at my computer feeling the same internal nudge to eat and cook heartier and heavier meals, I truly understand what you write! Thanks for the great recipe YUM! So glad you are back on food!

West November 13, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Matty, matt, matt…..wow..we lost touch and this is what I come back to at the end of the day…thanks for that…..now I'm hungry.

Are you in town 1/15-1/18/09?

Jacqueline Church November 14, 2008 at 1:35 am

Matt -do you do savory style squashes? I realize parmigiano reggiano gives that, but I recently tried a new recipe for sweet potatoes that would work with squash.

I adored it and my two dinner companions were "enh, but they're supposed to be sweet…" as in "with marshmallows, but we don't dare say that part out loud around you…"

And it's great fun for me to introduce my SoCal husband to seasonal eating. It's all new again! Wow! What's this?! Honey that's called (fill-in-the-blank) it's only really in season in (fill-in-the-season.)

Mmm mmm. And as for the bulking up for winter thing, try adding the older-girl multiplier!

-Jacqueline

Kalyn November 14, 2008 at 5:33 am

Sounds wonderful and I love the photo.

xtine November 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm

I love the larger bowl in your photo…It looks like a giant inverted mushroom.

katie November 14, 2008 at 6:00 pm

i feel the same overnight & aggressive switch in the wine and beer i drink. i crave chewy, full-bodied reds and dark, thick porters. the kind that almost seem like meals in and of themselves. ah. who doesn't love fall?

Mrs Ergül November 16, 2008 at 5:28 pm

Gorgeous photo, as usual! Acorn as centerpeice! What a great idea!

Compare Cooking Schools November 16, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Molasses-Glazed Acorn Squash looks yummy. I liked this recipe. A New dish for coming "Thanksgiving"

Thanks for posting.
Annie

Jessica D November 17, 2008 at 9:53 am

Twice in the past week, I've made this fantastic acorn squash dish with butter and brown sugar. It's divine.

This sounds fantastic. I love the addition of balsamic vinegar–it must give the squash such a nice little bite. Can't wait to try this.

Love your blog, by the way. I just discovered and have been happily reading through your archives!

Elra November 19, 2008 at 9:04 am

What a perfect dish for the holiday season. Thanksgiving is on its way… and happy to discover your "Molasses-Glazed Acorn Squash"
Cheers,
elra

Amadeo Plaza November 21, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Gosh that looks delicious. One day when I’m daring enough , perhaps I’ll pull up this recipe and give it a whirl. Though I may be a ways off. So, a test drive next week at Thanksgiving is definitely not going to happen. I’m still trying to master my lasagna recipe, so that’s a bit of a work in progress. Hope everything is well with you Matt :)

leona November 24, 2008 at 11:08 am

FYI,
I took this great class over the weekend that you guys might be interested in.
Here is the link:

http://www.digitalfoodphotos.com/blog/?page_id=57

Anne November 25, 2008 at 7:02 am

oh, wow. i think my mom would love this recipe; i’ll have to pass it along. thanks!

Teresa November 25, 2008 at 8:30 am

I don’t know if anyone will ever read this, but if you don’t have a lighter molasses, you can cut the dark stuff with some honey. It lightens up the molasses a bit and with all the different flavors of honey in this world, there’s a ton of potential for adding some interesting undertones to the dish.

larisa November 25, 2008 at 6:52 pm

An absolute perfect Thanksgiving side. Love it!

vicki November 26, 2008 at 4:06 pm

have I said lately how absolutely awesome your photos are!!! I mean REALLY. would that my food and tables looked this good.
cheers. HAPPY THANKSGIVING from alaska where we have 2-3/4 seasons (teehee)

Whitney November 26, 2008 at 7:07 pm

I have been wanting to try the acorn squash maple combo for a while. The picture looks DIVINE.

E. December 6, 2008 at 9:14 am

Matt — I don’t know if you still read the older comments, but those glasses are gorgeous. Would it be possible for you to tell me who makes them? And thanks for your blog in general. The O Olive Oil discount made a great wedding present! E.

glutenfreeforgood December 8, 2008 at 4:18 am

I was wondering what the accompanying drinks were? And yes, I love the glasses as well.

But that squash looks amazing. I have two acorn squashes from last week’s CSA delivery and think I’ll whip up this recipe of yours with some wild rice for dinner tonight. It sounds delightful. I have a few food issues, so I’ll sub in some ghee for the butter and I’ll be good to go!

Thanks! What a beautiful blog you have here!
Melissa

Yazmena December 15, 2008 at 1:06 pm

I just got some wonderful balsamic and I’m going to try this tonight on a kabocha squash (that’s all we have in house). I’m salivating right now!

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