Thursday, 15 November 2007

Acorn Squash with Cranberry-Ginger Butter

Southern Ontario is a place where a lot of vegetables are grown, but it is not a place where a lot of vegetables have originated. Acorn squash is one of two that I know of (the other is Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes as they have more appropriately been rechristened.) No doubt the acorn squash we eat nowadays are hybrids, and fairly different from what they once were, but still this is a vegetable you can eat, and feel you are consuming the culmination of thousands of years of local history.

It's hard to say how long to bake these, because I am assuming that you will be baking something else at the same time, and these are flexible and can be baked at whatever rate your something-else is baking at. If your oven is hot, they should be done in an hour. I baked them with the Braised Beef with Onion Sauce, which cooks at a very low temperature, and so mine took almost 3 hours.

2 -4 servings
1 to 3 hours - 15 minutes prep time

Acorn Squash with Cranberry Ginger Butter1 medium acorn squash
1 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon preserved ginger (or a little more)
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven. Slice the acorn squash in half, and remove the seeds. Brush the cut surfaces of the squash with a little oil, and roast until tender.

Make the cranberry-ginger butter, by whizzing the cranberries and ginger in a food processor (or they can be chopped as finely as you can get them by hand) then mixing them with the butter.

About 10 to 20 minutes before the squash is done (time to depend on temperature of the oven) remove the squash from the oven, and score the surface thoroughly with a fork. Spread the butter as evenly as you can - carefully, that squash will be hot - over the tops of the squash. Put it back into the oven for that 10 to 20 minutes further baking.

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