Squash, it’s one of those ingredients that seems to pop up on every restaurant menu or online recipe blog this time of year.  Ravioli with Roasted Butternut Squash.  Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons.  Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza.  It’s the “it vegetable.”  The popular one.  

I don’t love it.  I don’t hate it.  But I don’t usually cook it.  Not sure why.  A few weeks ago, I went to a cooking class.  Specifically, an Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli cooking class.  We made ravioli from scratch, which was incredibly fun and something I had never done before.  And, it turns out, roasted squash ravioli is pretty darn delicious.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere.  From life, from observing people, from traveling, from t.v. shows, from cooking classes…..I love that it strikes you when you least expect it.  Who knew, that a random cooking class on a random Thursday night would change my relationship with squash?  (….does that sound a bit dramatic?)

This recipe for a roasted cod combines roasted acorn squash and roasted pineapple with another seasonal favorite of mine, pomegranates.  I used cod, but any mild, white fish would work.  (Dare I even suggest chicken breast.). The sauce is a mixture of spicy and sweet and turns into a nice thick glaze after slow roasting.  

Oven Roasted Cod with Brown Sugar Pineapple Glazed Acorn Squash

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 medium acorn squash, peeled and cubed*
    • 1/2 of a pineapple cored and cubed
    • 6 tablespoons browned butter (melt butter slowly over low heat until it foams and the milky whiteness turns brown and sinks to the bottom of the pan, it will also begin to smell nice and nutty)
    • 1/4 cup of chopped pecans
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • ¼ cup sesame, peanut or olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek*
    • pounds cod fillets
    • arils from one pomegranate for serving
    • crumbled feta for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with a little olive oil.
  2. To the baking sheet, add the acorn squash and pineapple in an even layer. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the squash and pineapple. Season with salt + pepper. Mix together the browned butter and walnuts and pour over the squash. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until the squash is soft. If you remember, try to flip the squash and pineapple halfway through cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, sesame oil, tomato paste, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, honey, ginger and sambal oelek in a bowl.
  4. When the squash is done roasting, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  5. Make room for the fish on the pan with the squash, placing the fish in the center of the pan. Spoon the sauce all over the fish and a little on the acorn squash and pineapple too.
  6. Place the pan back in the oven and continue roasting for 20-30 minutes or until the fish is fully cooked through.
  7. To serve, sprinkle the pomegranate arils over the fish.
*Safely cutting an acorn squash could be an oxymoron.  I headed to google to see if there were any shortcuts to ensure I didn’t lose a finger.  This was the method I followed: using a large kitchen knife, I sliced the acorn squash lengthwise. Scooped out the seeds. Sliced each half into quarters; in half lengthwise and then widthwise. Using a sharp knife, I peeled off some of then skin, than used a smaller knife to get in the ridges.  But it was still slightly dangerous.  Next time I might try this method: Place the whole squash in gently boiling water for 15 minutes; pour off water and chill in cold water for 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, slice off peel from peaks or ridges with a knife; use a spoon to dig out the peel from the valleys. Slice squash in half and remove seeds and stem; then cut into chunks.
 
*Sambal oelek is a spicy Southeast Asian chile sauce made from hot red chile peppers, salt and sometimes vinegar.  You can find it in the Asian section of most grocery stores.  A good alternative if you can’t get your hands on a bottle is to use Sriracha instead.  

 

*To the best of my ability, I have tried to indicate all ingredients, products and equipment that are available at Johnnies in Bold Print.  

Recipe found and adapted from www.halfbakedharvest.com.

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