It is that time of year again! Thanksgiving is just 10 days away! Everybody knows that the turkey is just a showpiece, we all really look forward to the side dishes! Acorn squash is the perfect Thanksgiving side because everyone gets their own little "cup" of sweet and savory goodness. This recipe is beautiful and will surely take your Thanksgiving dinner Instagram pic to the next level. The squash is rich and slightly sweet with the addition of the dark brown sugar, and then the sage yogurt cream gives it this perfect tangy flavor that cuts through the sweetness, the apples give it a nice juicy freshness and finally we top it all off with spicy toasted pumpkin seeds which give this dish the most satisfying crunch. Happy Thanksgiving!
- Acorn Squash- 1 half per person
- Dark Brown Sugar (1 Tablespoons per half)
- Salted Butter (1 Tablespoon per half of squash)
- salt and black pepper
- Dash of Cinnamon per squash
- Dash of Nutmeg per squash
- Pinch of Clove per squash
- Olive Oil to baste the squash before baking
- 1-2 Apples shredded on a mandolin or cut into a fine julienne (I like honey crisp apples but granny smith or macintosh are great too
- Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (recipe below)
- Sage Cream (recipe below)
- 1/3 Cup light brown sugar
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds shelled
- 1 large egg white
- 1teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ Teaspooon Ground Ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- a few dashes of cayenne pepper (if you like spicy you can add ¼-1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I use Fage 0% fat to cut calories)
- 6-8 Fresh Sage Leaves
- 1 Teaspoon Honey
- Small Pinch of salt and pepper
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds-
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Stir together all the ingredients.
- Spread the seeds out on a parchment paper lined sheet pan in one layer.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until puffed up slightly and brown. Keep an eye on them because they can burn easily. Remove from the oven and stir them up a bit then pop them back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool and dry out . Sprinkle with a little extra salt if needed.
- In a food processor or blender, blend together the yogurt, sage leaves, honey, tiny pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until the sage is nicely chopped up and incorporated into the yogurt. If it is too thick to blend add a drop of water.
- Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Preheat the oven to 425F
- Cut the Squashes in half horizontally. Scoop out the seeds and discard.
- Place the squash halves on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle the insides of the squash with some olive oil.
- Sprinkle each squash half with salt and pepper, a dash of nutmeg, a pinch of ground cloves, and a nice sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
- Bake the squash for 45 minutes, remove from the oven and top each squash half with 1 tablespoon of the salted butter and 1 Tablespoon of Dark Brown Sugar and place back in the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes then remove and baste the squash with the melted butter and brown sugar from the center of the squash. Bake another 10-15 minutes or so, until the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven.
**To assemble- Top each acorn squash half with some shredded apple, a nice dollop of sage cream and then finish it off with some spiced pumpkin seeds.