I ripped chef Melissa Perello’s ginger-roasted squash recipe from my December 2010 Food & Wine and have made it several times over the past couple months — quite a different lifecycle than most of my recipe clippings, sorry to say. First try, I brought it to a potluck dinner where it grounded an otherwise carb-heavy smorgasboard and another time I served it as a brunch main dish, accompanied by fresh crusty bread, cheese and wine. When it isn’t the star of the table, it’s a simple, satisfying, vegetarian dinner (with scrumptious leftovers of roasted squash!). Try it. You’ll like it. (Yay, Melissa! Yay Frances!)
Winter Squash and Greens
1 winter squash (kabocha or acorn best), halved and seeded
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated with a microplane grater
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup dried currants
1 cinnamon stick (2 or 3 inches)
salad greens, (I like to mix frisée and escarole with red leaf lettuce)
2 tablespoons créme fraîche
1. First roast of the squash. Preheat oven 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of foil. Rub the olive oil and grated ginger onto the flesh of the halved squash. Sprinkle with salt and place cut side down on the foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, until the squash starts to soften, then turn squash over so the cut side is up and roast for another 15 minutes or until tender.
2. Make dressing. In a small saucepan, combine water, maple syrup, vinegar and cinnamon stick and simmer for 5 minutes. Add currants and simmer a couple minutes more.
3. Second roast of the squash. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Cut squash (after first roast) into approximate 1 1/2 inch wedges and arrange on the foil lined baking sheet; roast for 25 minutes, turning once half way through, until golden and crisp along the edges.
4. Arrange the greens on a platter. Top with squash wedges and drizzle with the currant dressing (remove the cinnamon stick) and créme fraîche. Serve.
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips
- It is important not to crowd the squash slices during the second roasting. If you double the recipe, get out a second pan instead of cramming them onto one. (Otherwise you will end up steaming the wedges instead of roasting them to crispy deliciousness. I share this with you, sadly, from experience.)
- Optional for serving: Drizzle some olive oil over the greens and squash. There’s no oil in the dressing, so by doing this you are making more of a vinaigrette.