Meatless Monday – Honey Glazed Winter Squash with Pomegranate

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It’s finally starting to feel like Fall!  We actually got a few drops of much needed rain here in California last night.  It’s been six months since we have received this manna from heaven and the weatherman was positively giddy during his forecast last night.  With Fall comes a fabulous selection of gorgeous squashes with their colorful but knobby exteriors and rich and sweet interiors. Their gorgeous skins make them a perfect table centerpiece and then you can turn them into a spectacular meal later. This dish combines some of my favorite flavors, rich and earthy winter squash, roasted with shallots, then tossed with toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds and finely, drizzled with a sweet and tangy cider vinegar and honey reduction.

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This recipe from “Eating Well, November/December 2015” will work with any winter squash, except for Spaghetti Squash. Each has a unique flavor but all are nutritious and good sources of vitamins and minerals with zero fat. I have been wanting to try Delicata squash but only found three small ones in my supermarket so I also used an Acorn squash but didn’t have room in the pan for the Carnival squash that I couldn’t resist (Who can pass up something called Carnival Tutti Frutti?) so that will have to be another meal.  Look at how different they are from the outside.  From left to right in the photo above, is Carnival (Tutti Frutti), Acorn Squash and three small Delicata.  Delicata squash is named for it’s delicate skin which is thin enough to easily cut, unlike other winter squashes that have hard shells (and you fear losing a hand just cutting them in half).  As an added bonus, the skin is also edible so the squash doesn’t need to be peeled.  If you are using acorn, carnival or kabocha squash, the peel looks just as pretty but it’s not edible.

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I love this time of year when pomegranate seeds are readily available.  Their vivid color transforms any dish into a showstopper and these nutrient rich little gems add a host of vitamins and anti-oxidants to the meal.  One word of caution though; pomegranate juice stains any porous surface including a wood cutting board, so I would recommend cutting over a ceramic plate or other non-porous surface. Sometimes you can find them already seeded in the supermarket as an easy but more expensive shortcut.

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TIPS: Seeds from winter squash make a great snack food, just like the popular pumpkin seeds. Just scoop the pulp and seeds from inside the squash and separate out the seeds. Toss them in olive oil and place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and lightly roast them at 300 degrees in the oven for about 30 minutes. If you have time, you can try soaking them in salt water for several hours or overnight before roasting for a tastier, cleaner result. Soaking helps the salt permeate the seed and makes it easier to remove the last bits of pulp.

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HONEY GLAZED WINTER SQUASH WITH POMEGRANATE

5 lbs delicata or Acorn squash
4 large shallots
3 Tbsn olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup pinenuts
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
HONEY GLAZE:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 – 1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt

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  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.20151101_174404
  • Then cut horizontally into 1 inch slices

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  • Quarter shallots.

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  • Toss the squash slices and shallots with olive oil, salt and pepper and divide between two roasting pans.

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  • Roast for 30-35 minutes, alternating between top and bottom racks, or until squash is tender. (turning halfway through cooking process) While the squash is cooking, combine honey, vinegar and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer until reduced to about a 1/2 cup.

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  • Toast pinenuts in a dry pan for several minutes until golden.  Remove from heat and let cool.

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  • Transfer squash to  a serving platter, top with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and mint. Drizzle with syrup. Serve warm.

Honey Glazed Winter Squash with Pomegranate

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 20151101_200735

5 lbs delicata or Acorn squash
4 large shallots
3 Tbsn olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup pinenuts
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
HONEY GLAZE:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 – 1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Then cut horizontally into 1 inch slices
  • Quarter shallots.
  • Toss the squash slices and shallots with olive oil, salt and pepper and divide between two roasting pans.
  • Roast for 30-35 minutes, alternating between top and bottom racks, or until squash is tender. (turning halfway through cooking process)
  • Combine honey, vinegar and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer until reduced to about a 1/2 cup.
  • Toast pinenuts in a dry pan for several minutes until golden.  Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Transfer squash to  a serving platter, top with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and mint. Drizzle with syrup. Serve warm.

3 thoughts on “Meatless Monday – Honey Glazed Winter Squash with Pomegranate

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