If you have been to the market (or grocery store for that matter) you will have noticed the abundant varieties of squash, proudly displayed in all their oddly shaped glory. They may seem like intimidating vegetables with their thick multi coloured skins and strange comical shapes, but they are cheap, quick and easy to prepare. I have used acorn squash for this recipe but you could easily substitute butternut or even a sugar pumpkin as the body of this simple, satisfying dish.
1 acorn squash
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp red chili flakes
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Celsius. Cut the squash in half down the middle and scoop out the seeds. Place them cut side down on a baking sheet and cover the bottom of the sheet with water. When the oven is hot, place the squash in the oven and roast for 40 minutes. You can check if the squash is ready by poking a fork, or the end of a knife through the skin. The fork should pierce it easily.
Remove the squash from the oven (leave the oven on) and carefully scoop out the flesh into an ovenproof bowl (if you don’t break the skin you can return your squash mixture to the shell for fancy presentation).
Add the butter, oregano, thyme, chili flakes and salt mix thoroughly. Arrange your mixture in the intact squash skin or ovenproof dish and sprinkle parmesan over the top. Return to the hot oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove, let cool and enjoy!
Hint: If your squash is large only use half for the twice baked mixture and save the other half for soups or just to be eaten on its own in all its sweet roasted glory. Also if you clean the seeds they can be tossed with salt and olive oil and toasted in the oven as a delicious salty snack. Waste not, want not.