There are, by my count, at least seven levels of fried chicken. The worst of them is good; the best, which I waited forty-four years to find, led to what can only be called an out-of-body experience. Let’s start at …
Acorn squash is a dark-skinned winter squash with yellowish orange flesh and a slightly nutty flavor. In many parts of the country, acorn squash comes into season around the first frost, which is right when people with basil planted outdoors need to use it all up or dry it. Combine the two ingredients into a delicious dish packed with vitamin C, dietary fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium and manganese.
- Acorn squash
- Cutting board
- Baking sheet
- Oil, butter or cooking spray
- Metal spatula
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. vinegar
Preheat your oven to 450 F.
Set the acorn squash on a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.
Scoop out the seeds and any stringy parts of the flesh with a spoon. You can either discard the seeds or rinse them and roast them alongside the squash. They taste similar to pumpkin seeds.
Cut the squash into wedges, each the width of one of the ridges on the outside of the squash. If you prefer, you can leave the halves intact, but they will take longer to cook that way.
Lightly grease a baking sheet with oil, butter or cooking spray and lay the wedges out on the sheet, with one of the cut sides down.
Mist the tops of the squash wedges with oil or cooking spray or drizzle melted butter over them. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste on the squash.
Roast the squash in the oven for about 30 minutes, flipping the wedges halfway through the cooking time. They are done when you do not meet resistance from the flesh of the squash when you stick a fork into it.
Combine 1 cup fresh basil, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/2 cup olive oil and 2 tbsp. vinegar in a food processor or blender.
Drizzle the basil vinaigrette over the squash slices.
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