Roasted Acorn Squash and Autumn Fires

It’s been cool in the evenings this past week, cool enough to start having fires again.

We have a furnace and ancient hot water radiators in the house, but fuel is expensive and wood is cheap.  Like all of the locals we have a wood fire every night.  Sitting in front of a crackling fire with a nice hot cup of tea as the
sun goes down is one of the few things I truly love about winter.

We’ve had at least one fireplace in every house we’ve lived in.  Our house in the U.S. had what you would consider a normal size fireplace; big enough for a couple of easy chairs in front but not so large as to lose small children in it.

When we move to Ireland we switched from wood to coal and, my favorite, peat.  The smell of a peat fire with the wind and rain lashing the windows defines cosiness.  Both peat and coal put out a lot of heat, but the fireplace was tiny, probably not more than 20″ (50cm) across.

In Andorra, our fireplace was in a corner.  It was about 27″ (65cm) across in the front and about 24″ (60cm) high.  It was a strange fireplace: we had to have the wood tucked way back into the corner for it to draw.  We filled the house with smoke more than once – the spiral staircase up the center made a great chimney!

Here we have a proper fireplace.  Mon mari can pitch 3′ logs at it from across the room.  It’s 4′ (1300cm) wide and almost as high.  And it came with proper equipment.  No, not namby-pamby fireplace tools: cute little brooms, mini dustbins and fancy pokers.  Ours has things that are really useful: an 8 prong potato roaster, a long-handled bread toaster for making afternoon ‘pan mogettes’ (toasted bread and white beans made with goose or duck drippings), well-used bread pans, a long-handled chestnut roaster, a 3-footed kettle, and a compartment underneath that I have no idea of it’s use (no, it’s not an ash bin).  There could be more, the former owners left 3 garages full of stuff (typical in the country) but we can’t identify most of it.  (Mon mari is starting a museum.)

I haven’t tried roasting vegetable in it yet, but one of these days….

AaweekendherbbloggingBut I have started harvesting our winter squashes.  The butternut and pumpkin can sit on the vine for a few more weeks; the acorn we are eating now.

For this Weekend Herb Blogging, founded by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen and hosted this week by Ulrike of Küchenlatein I give you Winter Squash. (Actually, I wish I could give you some, but that’s another story…)

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods site, 1 cup of winter squash gives 145% of the RDA of vitamin A and more than 20% of vitamin C, potassium, fiber and manganese.  Beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotenoid found in squashes (as well as red peppers, papaya, oranges, peaches)  may lower the risk of lung cancer and all of that vitamin A helps ward off other lung diseases.  Then there’s the beta-carotene, all the B vitamins,…yeah, eat your squash, it’s good for you!

I finally convinced mon mari that there are other ways to eat acorn
squash besides filling them with butter and brown sugar (which, of
course, is wonderful). Roasting them concentrates their natural
sweetness and all you need to finish is a bit of salt and pepper…. or
you can smear on butter!

Roasted Acorn Squash Slices

1 acorn squash

1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to finish

Acorn2

Cut squash in half, through stem and blossom ends, and scoop out seeds. Then cut in 1″ (2.5cm) slices the short way. Mix rosemary and olive oil. Toss squash slices in oil. Arrange on a baking sheet and cover loosely with foil. Bake at 400F (200C) for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes, until fork tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

Celebrate autumn with some lovely orange squash!

Be sure to visit Ulrike at Küchenlatein on Monday for the recap of all of the wonderful recipes.  And next week it’s the big Two Year Anniversary at Kalyn’s Kitchen!  Don’t miss it!

27 thoughts on “Roasted Acorn Squash and Autumn Fires”

  1. Wow Katie, what time in the afternoon for the ‘pan mogettes’ (toasted bread and white beans made with goose or duck drippings), I want to be on time!
    Great looking squash! roasted is always so good.

  2. I would love eating this. Would you believe I have never tasted acorn squash. I think it’s because banana squash and butternut squash are an both so easy to grow here, that I’ve always had them in the garden, so no thought to buy another type. I must buy some acorn squash for comparison. I think squash is delicious no matter how you cook it! I’m also a huge fan of fireplaces. It’s one of the few things I like about winter.

  3. What is the difference between squash and pumpkins? I would call it like Ilva a pumpkin.
    Thanks for the story, may I be the first trying to roast anything on your fireplace?

  4. Pam, mon mari dearly loves the butter and brown sugar… but he’s willing to alternate with this hahaha – hope you liked it!
    Thank you Anh.
    Tanna, we can buy the ready-made mogette at the supermarkets. I’m happy to have the ones with just a bit of duck and carrot added… mon mari likes the kind with the gizards…. – anytime is fine!
    Kalyn, I’ve never even heard of banana squash!. I’m having butternut for the first time in about an hour….
    Ilva and Ulrike, in the U.S. a long green courgette is a zucchini, any other color, size or shape is a summer squash. Big, round orange pumpkins are called pumpkin, any other color, size or shape is called a winter squash. Haven’t a clue why…
    In some cook books there will be a ‘Zucchini and Summer Squash’ section and a ‘Pumpkin and Winter Squash’ section.
    Sorry, Ulrike, I was first…you can have second!

  5. Hi Katie,
    I’ve never lived in a house that has a fireplace before. But I do enjoy sitting around a fireplace with a cuppa.
    Roasting squash is a great way to draw out their natural sweetness. We get squash/pumpkins all year round in Australia.
    I wonder what name your husband will give to his “museum”? 😉

  6. You are so lucky to inherit all of these great fireplace tools, even if they came with a lot of stuff you probably don’t want! I’m in awe of the harvest from your garden this year. I love roast squash — it seems to get so much sweeter with the roasting process.

  7. I agree with you about how wonderful fireplaces are. I like the one you described with the cooking tools. How cool is that? The squash looks delicious. Simple and good 🙂

  8. Mmmmmm Katie, I can hardly wait for cool weather to hit here! Your description of coziness is lovely and makes me a tiny bit envious! I heart acorn squash, roasted just as you say. I haven’t had it with rosemary before but will try it next time.
    Great post as usual girl!

  9. This looks good but I have a hard time finding acorn squash..butternut yes, or pumpkiny kinds of squash might work?
    I have a couple of friends with “proper..could roast a pig” fire places… nothing better than that.

  10. Nirmala, I agree, especially with lovely vegetables fresh from the garden.
    Margot, it’s tasty, cute and perfect for 2 people.
    Nora, you’re lucky to have them available all year. There most considered pig food here so I have them when I grow them. Boys and their toys!
    Lydia, my garden was slow to start, and no tomatoes, but now it’s like the little engine…it just won’t stop (she complains, gleefully)
    Sue, I think of roasting…then I think of cleaning it.. and I use the oven (self-cleaning)
    Betty, I harvested my first butternut last night – I must say I think I like it better… I’ve never seen an acorn here either (other than my garden). I’ll be doing some butternut recipes this week.
    Maryann, thanks. It was a challenge to figure out what they were for!
    Truffle, you’re coming into asparagus season… be happy!
    Blue Zebra – you actually get cool weather? Or just pretend to…. Rosemary is very nice with it – when not using butter and brown sugar.
    Meredith, pumpkin, definitely, as it has a thick skin like the acorn. I think there are better ways with the butternut… I have thme in my garden, too so I’m working on it…

  11. The squash looks delicious and the photo is great. I was never big on squash or pumpkin growing up, but now I’m really eager to try to work with as many autumn veggies as I can. One more thing to try to grow in the “garden” (a term I use loosely :-/ )

  12. Yum! I might try this tonight. I’m another “grown-up” who recently became a squash eater. I hated it as a kid. But now I appreciate the ease in preparing and the nutrition.

  13. TBTAM, but think of all the restaurants you’d have to give up?
    Maggie, did I say he succeeded? I only meant to say that he could try, hahaha And they’d fit..
    Stephanie, amazing how so many of us are so much more adventerous eaters than our parents…. of course, I have sibling who think Campbells Grean Bean Casserole is ti die for… ooops, no offense to GBC lovers everywhere!

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