This reminds me of my mother’s baked acorn squash where she’d half them, remove the seeds, fill the cavity with butter and brown sugar and then bake them. So buttery and delicious. This is a fairly easy recipe once the squash are sliced. Some grocery stores will now do this for you so ask (they can probably slice them more evenly than I did mine!). Feel free to use one large or a variety of smaller ones depending on your taste. In my case, as in the three squash mash from an earlier blog, I used my favorites – butternut, buttercup and acorn. The sweetness of the maple sugar only adds to the velvety sweetness of the squash with a note of maple thrown in. So simple and so good. Be sure to reduce the heat half way through the cooking process to keep the maple glaze from burning. Serves 6 depending on how much squash is used.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a steamer pan add:
- 1-2 bunches kale, cleaned with larger stems removed
Steam until softened, 5-12 minutes depending on how much kale you have in the steamer.
Half the squash and remove the seeds from:
- 1 small acorn
- 1 small butternut
- 1 small buttercup
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Slice the squash into equal slices. Arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Be sure that end pieces with mostly skin are skin side down. Mix together in a small bowl:
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
- Salt and pepper to taste (I used only 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a 1/8 teaspoon pepper)
Pour the glaze mixture evenly over the squash. Flip over the squash so that the end pieces with mostly skin are skin side up. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and flip so that pieces with flesh on both sides are now turned over. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until squash is soft, approximately 15-20 more minutes. If you have thicker pieces that need more cooking, remove the cooked pieces and add the kale in the places where there’s no squash (I moved all the thicker squash slices to the edges and put the kale in the middle of the baking sheet). If all the squash is removed, simply add the kale to the baking sheet and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Arrange the kale on a serving dish with the squash slices on top.