In anticipation of my book, I’ve been reading Maria Rodale’s own cookbook, Scratch. In her book, she has a recipe called “Maya’s Spiced Roasted Squash” inspired by her firstborn daughter, Maya. I knew immediately that this had to be the first recipe I tried, as it literally had my name written all over it.
I was intrigued by her suggestion of combining smoky cumin with warm cinnamon as the spices on this dish. I imagined the flavors coming together in my mind with the sweetness of the winter squash – I chose acorn for the lovely scalloped edges – and I wasn’t disappointed when the unexpected combination made my entire house smell like heaven. I removed the caramelized squash from the oven, all glistening and browned, and transferred it to my wood board, where I squeezed a little citrus over top (Maria likes to use lemon, I went for lime), sprinkled it with freshly chopped cilantro (flat-leaf parsley would be nice if you’re using lemon). I used a fork briefly, before just picking the squash up with my fingers and contentedly nibbling away. This would make a nice appetizer or you can serve it as a lovely side dish with roasted chicken, as Maria likes to serve hers.
I’m excited for what 2017 has in store – wonderfully terrifying, vulnerable, hard-fought, dream-fulfilling things. Together, let’s make this year unforgettable.
Spiced Roasted Acorn Squash
Recipe adapted from Scratch by Maria Rodale.
Yields: 4 servings
- 1 acorn squash
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- lime wedges, for serving
- finely chopped cilantro, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the ends off of the acorn squash then cut the squash in half length-wise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Using a sharp knife, slice the squash into half moons, about 3/4 inch thick.
In a bowl, stir together the oil, cumin, cinnamon, salt and cayenne. Toss the acorn squash in the spiced oil mixture to coat. Place the squash onto the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven until tender and caramelized, 20-25 minutes. Transfer the squash to a serving platter and serve with lime wedges and chopped cilantro. Serve promptly.