Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Acorn Squash with Caramel and Fleur de Sel

Flavorful and yet still packing a pretty healthy punch, these tasty wedges will be a welcome addition to a Tart's Holiday table this year.


2 acorn squash, cut into wedges, seeds reserved
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, divided
1 tablespoon Southern Comfort liqueur or spiced dark rum
2 heaping tablespoon turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
reserved squash seeds
fleur de sel

1 - Clean and cut squash, reserving seeds.

2 - Brush cut side of wedges with olive oil and roast in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, pulling out once midway to flip and rearrange wedges and cover with liqueur and butter mix (below).

3 - While squash bakes, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter until just melted. Combine with Southern Comfort (or rum) and drizzle over squash midway through cooking time. If squash looks dry, brush with additional olive oil as needed.

4 - Cover a small, heat-save dish with foil and set aside.

5 - Clean and rinse seeds, pat dry. Place a small amount of extra virgin olive oil (1/2 teaspoon will do) in shallow pan and add seeds. Stir over medium-high heat until just seeds are beginning to brown.

6 - Add sugar to pan and stir until disolved and bubbly.  As it begins to melt, add in remaining 1/2 tbsp of butter. Continue stirring; you will need to work quickly to keep caramel from burning. Remove from heat and pour vanilla extract over caramel. Scrape caramel and seeds onto foil-lined plate and sprinkle with a small amount (a sparse pinch) of fleur de sel. Break up seeds slightly and allow to cool. You can break them up more, as needed to distribute after they are completely cool.

7 - When cooked through and soft but beginning to brown, remove squash from oven and arrange on serving platter. Top each piece with caramel and seeds. Serve immediately. If you are timing this with other dishes, the squash can be made ahead and reheated just before serving but wait to add the seeds and caramel until ready to serve.

Recipe makes twelve servings. Per serving:

*Nutritional data calculated using ingredient compilation program for 2,000 calorie diet and is deemed close but not exact.