The magical combination of sage and winter squash has such a warm and homey flavor, not unlike the comforting taste of stuffing. Yet, squash is often overlooked around the holidays, making it onto only a small percentage of Thanksgiving tables. I think people feel that baked sweet potatoes fill the “orange vegetable” void, but really, why not slide slightly on the color spectrum and add some tasty yellow-orange squash, too.
I use fresh sage in this recipe (easy to find among the fresh herbs at most major grocers if you don’t have your own herb garden), which I find has a gentler taste than concentrated dried sage. My herb-shy husband appreciates this, and thoroughly enjoyed the slightly earthy flavor of this dish.
Though I typically roast squash for that caramelization effect, I must admit that this oven-baked method worked fabulously. It was almost like a steaming technique that locked in the natural flavor. Also, browning the “butter” on the stovetop added some extra depth to the overall dish …
- 1 Acorn Squash (medium-sized), cut in half lenthwise and seeded
- 2 Tablespoons Dairy-Free Margarine (I used Earth Balance soy-free, but you could also sub in coconut oil and a generous pinch of salt)
- 1 Tablespoon Honey (agave nectar, brown sugar, or maple syrup should also go nicely)
- 1 to 1-1/2 Teaspoons Fresh Sage, minced
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Place the prepared squash cut side down on a baking sheet or in a baking dish.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. Keep in mind, if you leave it cut side down after removing it from the oven, it will continue to soften and cook a bit.
- While the squash is baking, place the margarine in a small saucepan over medium-low to medium heat. Stir (not constantly, but with regularity) and cook until it just begins to brown, but do not let it burn (this took about 10 minutes for me – You can also see these more detailed instructions for browning butter)
- Remove the margarine from the heat and stir in the honey (or other sweetener) and sage. Allow the flavors to sit and meld while your squash cools for a few minutes.
- Cut each squash half into quarters (this is how I like to serve it), and evenly spoon the sweet sage butter into the squash sections and serve.
- Maple-Orange Acorn Squash Rings
- Winter Squash with Apricot Stuffing
- Gluten-Free Portobello Mushroom-Stuffed Acorn Squash (use olive oil or dairy-free margarine in place of the 1 T of butter)
- Twice Baked Acorn Squash w/ Beef and Vegetable Filling
- Apple & Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash (use olive oil or dairy-free margarine in place of the 1 T of butter)
- Creamy Breakfast Porridge with Acorn Squash