I always seem to wind-up lugging the heaviest pieces of produce home from the farmers market. Heads of cabbage, melons, or bags of apples. When Nick came to visit last weekend, I was grateful for the extra set of hands -- It's squash season.
We bought acorn, buttercup and butternut squash to roast for lunch, along with a Mirabelle baguette and Prairie Fruits Farm chevre -- two of the culinary perks to life in Champaign-Urbana.
As much as I miss the city, this is the place to be for fall foliage. The reds, oranges, yellows, and greens make morning runs or evening bike rides a visually stunning experience. I feel lucky that I am only trapped in an office half of the week these days. This is the time of year I can't stand to miss.
Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends. Squash bakes at the same temperature as many turkey recipes. Throw a few of these in the oven, with or without the bird, and your home will smell amazing.
1 acorn squash
1 buttercup squash
1 butternut squash
6 Tbl brown sugar*
6 Tbl butter
Fresh rosemary leaves
Fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400F. Cut squash in half and remove the seeds from the cavity with a spoon, leaving only the smooth flesh. Arrange the squash halves face-up on a heavy baking sheet. Add one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of brown sugar to each cavity. Add the rosemary to the butternut squash and the thyme to the buttercup and acorn squashes. Season with salt and pepper.
Roast the squash for about 70 minutes. Periodically spoon the butter-sugar mixture over the rest of the squash surface to season and prevent the squash from drying out. When you can easily pierce the flesh with a knife, the squash is done. Allow to cool slightly and serve warm. Any leftovers can be tossed with pasta and parmesan for a simple dinner.
*Real maple syrup is a great alternative.