Acorn squash are really beautiful, with orange flesh and a ridged, deep green exterior, and I like to showcase that by serving them halved, not cut up or mashed. Acorn squash, like other winter squashes such as butternut, are naturally sweet and I like preparing them with flavors that enhance that sweetness. This orange glaze does just that. In addition, its sugars caramelize with the heat of the grill, which not only makes the squash taste great, but makes them look gorgeous as well.
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 4 cups orange juice (not from concentrate)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 6 whole allspice berries
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 4 acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat your grill to medium.
While the grill is heating up, combine the orange zest, orange juice, brown sugar, allspice and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and boil over high heat, stirring often until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Discard the allspice and cinnamon and whisk the butter into the glaze.
Meanwhile, put the squash in a large microwave-safe bowl, add 1/4 cup water, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Poke a few holes in the plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 minutes.
Brush the cut sides of the acorn squash with some of the glaze and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on the grill, close the cover and grill until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the squash over, close the lid, and continue grilling until the center of each squash goes in with a little resistance, about 20 minutes, brushing with the remaining glaze every two minutes.
Remove the squash from the grill and brush with any remaining glaze.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Clarkson Potter 2008. All rights reserved.
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