Baked Acorn Squash
This is a quick and easy side dish that cooks in the microwave, taking only 10 minutes from start to finish. Add a dab of both butter and brown sugar, nuke it for 6 minutes, and voila! Hard shelled squash like acorn squash are traditionally winter vegetables, but with our world-wide supply chain now, it is available in grocery stores all year round.
Acorn squash is very nutrient-dense for its size. It is rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and other B vitamins, and also delivers a range of minerals including potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, phosphorous, and calcium (1).
If there is a little dried bit of the vine on the squash, pop it off with a knife. Cut the squash in half from top to bottom and scrape out the seeds and strings with a spoon. In a dish big enough to hold both halves, put 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.
Place the squash halves, shell side down into the prepared dish. In each half of the squash put 1 teaspoon butter (or margarine) and 1 tsp brown sugar. Cover the dish with either plastic wrap or a lid. Microwave for 6 minutes on high. (If your microwave is lower powered, it may take another minute or two. Poke the flesh with a fork. It is done when it is soft.)
Remove the plastic wrap, put one on each plate, and that’s it. Couldn’t be easier.
Each person scrapes the soft orange flesh out of the shell on their plate to eat it. Another way is to scrape it all out into a serving dish and put a scoop on each plate. We like to each have a half-shell. It’s prettier that way, and quicker for the cook. Win-win!