Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Acorn Squash with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette

I love the chile-lime flavor combination -- I've used it with slaws, chicken, and of course guacamole, among other things -- and I think it works really well with sweet, substantial winter squash.  (If you have extra vinaigrette, you can dress your next salad with it.)  It's also pretty rewarding when a dish so simple to prepare yields the complexity of flavor and color that this one does!  Perfect for fall -- warm and toasty, yet bright and fresh, like a sweater on an October day!

adapted slightly from

serves 2

2 small Acorn squash, or 1 bigger (about 1 lb total)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt, divided
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small clove garlic
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice, or to taste
1/2 Jalapeno, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat), or hot chile of your choice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

photo by Deb Perelman
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450°F. Halve the squash lengthwise, then cut off and discard the stem ends. Scoop out the seeds and cut the squash lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges. Toss the squash with black pepper, all but a pinch of the salt, and 1 tablespoon of oil in a bowl, then arrange, cut sides down, in 2 large shallow baking pans. Roast squash, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until squash is tender and undersides of wedges are golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.

While squash roasts, mince the garlic and mash to a paste with the remaining salt. Transfer the paste to a small bowl and whisk in the lime juice, Jalapeno (to taste), cilantro, and remaining olive oil until combined. Transfer the squash, browned sides up, to a platter and drizzle with the vinaigrette.  Serve hot.

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