Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grilled Acorn Squash with Crispy Fried Sage

What have you been craving in these first few weeks of Fall? A filling, warm soup or comforting casseroles? For about 3 hours the other day, all I could think about was a big plate of butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter. I'm saving that for my next visit to Terragusto. In the meantime, this is a simple, tasty, and nutritious snack.

Acorn squash and butternut squash are fantastic fall root vegetables. And grilling is fun. So......

Grilled Acorn Squash with Crispy Fried Sage
2 servings as a side

1 medium or large acorn squash, halved, cleaned with seeds reserved, rinsed and dried
7 leaves fresh sage
squash seeds, optional

Multiple ways to approach the cooking method- for me it was a beautiful forty minutes spent outdoors with the grill and a Goose Island Harvest Ale. Set it up for about 350 F and grill indirect. You should know how to do that with your charcoal or gas grill. Alternatively, you could roast this in a 350 F oven for about 30 minutes to get it started as well. Place cut side up to start on the grill, cut side down on a sheet pan for roasting. Cover with EVOO and S&P in either case.

Once grill or oven-roasted, grill with direct medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes cut side down, then about 5 minutes on the flip.

In a small saute pan over medium heat, warm up a TB or so of EVOO and toss in the sage leaves. Shake it about for a minute or three until nicely crisped, then drain on a paper towel. Turn down the heat a bit and add the squash seeds. You want to get them a little golden brown and then get them off the heat before they start popping all over your stovetop. Not a lot of leeway there, trust me. You might want to have a lid handy?

Drizzle with some good EVOO to finish and a touch of S&P if needed. Top with crispy fried sage leaves.
The seeds will add a great contrast to the smooth, rich texture of the cooked squash. Or, roast them in the oven at about 275 F for a bit, seasoned like pumpkin seeds. Maybe grilled pumpkin is next? Damn this October is sailing....

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