Acorn squash that is. For some inexplicable reason, it is sometimes called Des Moines squash, though it is native throughout North and Central America. Call it what you will, this dark green globe, occasionally splashed with orange, and its orange pulp is yet another fruit misclassified as a vegetable. Even within that category, it is most often labeled as a winter squash along with Kabocha, Hubbard, Buttercup and Turban squashes. In fact, it is a member of the same branch of the Cucurbita family as zucchini, yellow and pattypan, all summer squashes. Someone should declare a global reclassification effort. Never mind, that’s a bad idea. It would probably make the United Nations look easy.
As a representative of fruit/vegetable/winter squash, the acorn squash is a pretty smooth operator. Its sweet nutty flavor is amenable to the being sweetly enhanced or spiced up. Its very shape nearly begs to be stuffed. Acorn squash makes terrific soups; plays well in the oven roasted or baked; can be steamed, sautéed, pureed and creamed. Mighty indeed.
It’s always an extra little plus when a food comes with its own natural container. As in this case, it is also a very attractive way to put something on the table. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. You will find on our website quite a number of squash dishes, some elegant, like the Acorn Squash with Maple Syrup and Sage Cream or the hearty Lamb Stuffed Acorn Squash. Today, thinking about the impending holidays and all the busyness that entails, we’re focusing on good but simple with Roasted Acorn Squash with Nutmeg. It is deeply satisfying with nominal effort.