Cooking is one of my favorite things to do. I’m no expert, but I enjoy the process enough to come out with some winners every once in a while. A few years back I added “Completely create a recipe on your own and serve it to friends” to my life list. This past Christmas I spent the day with my West Oakland friend-family (henceforth referred to here as my FRAMLY, another post unto itself which you’ll see later), and I chose this event to debut my somewhat offbeat but nonetheless delicious squash appetizer recipe. It was a total hit.
Below is the recipe! Specifics are at the very bottom of the page. Also, sorry for potato-quality photos. I was using someone else’s phone…
These are the ingredients you need, plus the Heavy Cream that I forgot to include in the picture:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise, which is not the easiest task to do. Sometimes I get the first cut going, and then just break it apart the rest of the way.
Next, scrape out the seeds from the center. Then stab the flesh-side a few times with a fork, and place the squash halves on a baking sheet cut-side-up.
Then take the garlic, shallots, and sage and chop them all up as small as possible. Keep the chopped ingredients separated. Just in case you don’t know what I look like 30 minutes out of bed and chopping garlic, here’s a picture for your amusement:
Next you brown the butter over medium heat in a pan. Once this is done, you add the sage and saute for a minute or so. After that, I add in the shallots and garlic and saute those for just a few minutes as well.
You don’t really want them cooked too much, as they will cook more in the oven later. Make sure the butter doesn’t get too browned or it will taste burnt (I turn down the heat if needed). I add a little salt and pepper towards the end too.
Next you distribute the contents of the pan into the scoop-ed out acorn squashes as equally as possible.
Once all the yummy mix is distributed, I take a brush and make sure there is butter on the part of the acorn squash that doesn’t have any mix on it, like so:
Once that is done, pop it in the oven for an hour or however long it takes until the acorn squash can be easily stabbed with a fork. You want the squash to be as soft as possible. When it’s done, it will look like this:
If it’s soft enough, remove from the oven and let it cool enough for you to be able to comfortably touch the rind-side of the squash.
Next, scoop out all the acorn squash and the garlic/shallot/sage mix into a big mixing bowl.
Once all the acorn squash has been scooped out and there’s nothing left but the rind, we smash like smashed potatoes! I add in little bits of heavy cream while I am smashing to help the smash along.
And that’s it! I add salt and pepper to taste, and serve it with thinly cut and toasted sourdough baguette slices.
I’ve made this before, but only for Michael and I. It was scary to debut something I made up, but it was received so well (“Christina, can you just give me a spoon so I can eat it out of the bowl?!”). Here are my official tasters:
I am proud of this life-list entry because it takes both creativity and confidence, two things I struggle with having. But interestingly, the older I am the more in touch with them I get. So here’s to framly, food, and creative confidence!
2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise
6 cloves garlic
1 medium sized shallot
6-12 leaves of sage (it’s up to you here how sage-y you want it)
1/2 stick butter
Salt & pepper
1/4-ish cup heavy cream
Baguette for crostinis