By Angela Nolan / November 17, 2011 / Recipes
Ingredients for baking the squash:
- 1 large or 2 small acorn squash
- 1/2 teaspoon salt for dressing
- 1/8 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon or so Reduced Balsamic Vinegar thickened for drizzling *
- 2 tablespoons or more crumbled cheese (aged goat cheese or drained fresh ricotta)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds toasted in oven or dry frying pan
Directions for baking the squash:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. With a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife, strip off the peel from the protruding ridges of the squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds and fibers.
Place each half cut side down; trim the ends, then cut semicircular slices of squash, all about 1 inch thick. Put all the pieces in a pile on a large non stick baking sheet or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Drizzle the 2 tablespoons oil over the squash, sprinkle on the ½ teaspoon salt, and toss to coat with the seasonings, and then spread the pieces out to lie flat, not touching.
Bake about 20 minutes, and then turn the pieces over. Bake another 15 minutes or so, until the squash is just tender all the way through and nicely caramelized on the edges.
Let the squash pieces cool on the pan until you’re ready to serve. Arrange the pieces in a symmetrical design or in a casual pile on a large serving platter or on individual salad plates, with two or three slices per portion.
Refresh them with drizzles of 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkles of 1/8 teaspoon salt. Scatter the almond slivers over, and then streaks or swirls of warm balsamic reduction. Finally, crumble bits of cheese all over.
*Ingredients for Reduced Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 500 ml bottle of quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 whole cloves
*Directions for Reduced Balsamic Vinegar
Pour the balsamic vinegar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and place over moderate heat.
Stir in the honey, drop in the bay leaf and whole cloves, and bring to a low boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer, and allow the vinegar to reduce slowly.
After 1/2 hour or so, when it has lost more than half of its original volume, the vinegar will start to appear syrupy, and you should watch it closely.
Cook the sauce to a third of its original volume (when it will measure 2/3 cup). Pour the syrup through a small strainer into a heat-proof bowl or measuring cup.
Discard the bay leaf and whole cloves. Drizzle on the Reduced Balsamic Vinegar over the squash while warm.
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