As summer transitions into fall, hard squashes begin filling produce bins in grocery stores and farmers’ markets. One of our favorites for roasting simply is acorn squash, which has a blackish-green, deeply ridged skin and bright golden flesh. Acorn is not a flashy squash like delicata, or a meaty fall and winter workhorse like butternut, but it’s tender and delicate, with a subtly sweet and earthy flavor that takes well to butter and brown sugar. Here, you begin by splitting an acorn squash lengthwise, scooping the seeds, and cutting a tiny slice from the back of each half so it’ll be stable in a roasting pan. (If you’re shy about whacking the squash in half, you can always microwave it first to make things easier.) Season the cut sides with salt and pepper, and drop just enough butter and brown sugar in the cavities to become a delicious glaze when baked in a hot oven.
- Yield: 2 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr 15 mins
- Active: 15 mins
- 1 medium acorn squash (about 1 pound)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and at room temperature
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons packed light or dark brown sugar
- Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Cut a small slice off the rounded side of each half to stabilize the halves so they sit upright.
- Using your fingers, coat the flesh of each half with 1 piece of the butter, then season generously with salt and pepper. Divide the sugar and remaining butter pieces among the squash cavities. Place the halves cut-side up on a baking sheet. Roast until fork-tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.