Acorn squash are a real late autumn treat! Their rich, nutty flavor and succulent texture make them a perfect accompaniment to any meal.
Start by selecting your acorn squash carefully. You want squash that are fully mature, but not too ripe – if they’re too ripe, the flesh can be dry and stringy. Look for squash that are at least a pound in weight, but not more than two or three pounds (if they’re much larger, it could be a sign that they’re over-ripe). The skin should be a deep green in color with a bit of orange coloring here and there; the orange color indicates that they’re fully ripe, but a squash that is more orange than green is probably over-ripe. The perfect squash will feel heavy for its size and won’t have any soft spots.
A traditional recipe for acorn squash is to oven-bake them to tender perfection. But what if you don’t have a lot of time for cooking? No worries – try this modern microwave method! Your microwave “baked” squash takes just a fraction of the time as the standard oven method, but delivers all the great taste and nutrition!
Microwave “Baked” Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash (about 1 pound each)
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons of brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Scrub your squash and use a knife to pierce the skin in several places, then microwave on high for two to three minutes. This will soften it up enough to make it easy to work with. Remove from micro and cut both squash in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and fibers.
Put both squash cut side down in a micro-safe baking dish and cook for six minutes on high. While that’s going on, melt the butter in a pan on the stove and add the remaining ingredients to the melted butter, stirring to make sure all the crumbs are coated and the spices are well distributed.
When the micro timer goes off, take the squash out and turn them over so the cut side is up. Spoon the buttered crumb mixture into the halves. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and return to the micro to cook for 8 to 10 more minutes on high. Let stand another three minutes after timer goes off.