Acorn squash is named “acorn squash” because it looks like an acorn. For some reason I find this fact endearing. But cuteness aside, the real reason I love to cook this squash is that it’s a cinch to prepare, super healthy, hearty, and filling, and has a slightly sweet and nutty taste similar to that of butternut. And babies love it as well. With very little preparation and only a fork needed to mash it, it’s a great fall/winter side dish to fill those little bellies. Plus, you can easily turn it into a main meal by adding it to quinoa or couscous with chopped greens, dried fruits and toasted nuts.
Roasted Acorn Squash with Mint
9 months + up
Makes 2 cups mash
- 1 large acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 425. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Cut squash halves into 1 ½” thick wedges leaving the skins on. Place squash on a parchment lined baking sheet and coat with oil, salt and pepper. Roast, carefully flipping each wedge over halfway through, until golden brown, 30 minutes.
Let squash cool until easily handled. Either with a spoon or your hands scrape the flesh off the skins and into a bowl. Discard the skins. With a fork mash the squash until desired consistency. Stir in mint and balsamic.
For younger babies: pulse in a food processor for a smoother texture.
For you: Don’t discard the squash seeds and toast them in a small skillet with olive oil and sea salt. Leave squash in wedges (the cooked skins are edible), place on platter, drizzle with balsamic; garnish with chopped mint and toasted seeds.