Spice roast acorn squash with girolles and crispy kale

acorn squash, girolles, crisp kale (1 of 1).jpg

When it comes to squash there is little I do not love. I’ve a soft spot for all of them; Butternut – especially with sage (see my Butternut squash, red onion and roast chestnuts with crispy sage), Delicata – sweet and delicate as her name suggests, Gem – small and humble, Onion – wonderfully soft and buttery and very very good spread on toast with a little garlic and black pepper. Needless to say my ‘ode to squash’ could go on... but for today I leave you with just one squash recipe. Acorn squash – named for their shape are usually dark green on the outside with a ripe orange centre (although there are paler varieties known as blonde acorn squash). This recipe calls for roasting your squash with a touch of spice. If you are sensitive to spice you may wish to omit the chilli, the flavour will still be full. I use girolles here for they are wonderful in the damp month of November but you could use whichever mushroom is in season.

| serves 2- 3 as a main or 4-5 as a side |

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to large acorn squash
  • A large bunch of kale
  • 2 red onions
  • 400g girolles
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed spice
  • a knob of good butter, or olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200c, fan setting.
  • Start by washing, deseeding and cutting the acorn squash into thick even slices. Hold onto the seeds and see my note below on how to turn them into a snack. Peel and quarter the red onions. Place your squash and onion in a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, the mixed spice, salt, pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes, give it all a good mix with your hands and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • While your squash is roasting in the oven make your dressing. Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined and glossy.
  • When your squash and onions have nearly been in the oven for 20 minutes, wash and roughly tear your kale leaves (keep any stems for stocks or chop finely and sautee with a little garlic and butter for a tasty side dish). Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper until the leaves are well coated. When done, remove the squash from the oven and reduce the oven to 150 degrees. Place your kale on top and return to the oven for 10 minutes, giving the kale a quick toss half way through to ensure an even crisp. Keep a close eye to make sure it does not burn.
  • Meanwhile, place the wild mushrooms in a pan over a medium heat with a knog of good butter or a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, cook gently for 5-10 minutes until golden.
  • Once everything is cooked, transfer your roasted veggies to a serving dish or individual plates. Spoon over the dressing and finish with the girolles – serve and enjoy!