I’m finally feeling inspired by fall. My savory senses are kicking in, and I’m trying to think of simple but creative ways to prepare fall and winter produce.
Squash is kind of beautiful, huh?
This recipe is both savory + sweet, but we’re not topping with brown sugar or dried cranberries. Instead, we’re using fresh pears—one of the few fruits that shine during this season. I don’t even glance at the strawberries come fall. It’s all about apples + pears. And sometimes I can’t help but buy pretty food, like the pear you see below.
It’s pretty much the color of fall.
To keep things from getting too sweet I’ve added onions and thyme to the pears. I could have eaten this entire pan when it came out of the oven. The thyme sprigs infuse a light, herby flavor into the pears and onions and compliment the squash in a very palette pleasing way.
While you could probably just top the squash, pears, and onions with a bit of salt and pepper, I made a simple miso glaze that further accentuates the sweet and savory combination. It includes a pinch of cayenne for a little heat, savory flavor from the miso, and a bit of sweet flavor from the maple syrup, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar. Drizzle a little on top and the entire dish comes together.
Roasted Acorn Squash with Pears and Miso Dressing gluten-free, vegan // yields 4 larger servings
- 2 acorn squash
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower oil, [or other high-heat oil]
- 2-3 medium pears
- 1/2 med-small sized sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
- handful of fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons white miso
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, optional
- 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 400° F. Slice acorn squash in half from stem to end [slice the stem off if needed to cut through]. Scoop out the seeds then slice each half into quarters.
Place squash on a large baking sheet [lined with parchment if desired], drizzle 2-3 teaspoons oil, and sprinkle with salt. Rub on all sides of the squash. Place squash on either cut side down and roast for 20-25 minutes. Flip and roast for another 20 minutes, until tender and starting to brown.
While roasting slice your pears in half and then slice each half into quarters. Remove seeds and stems. Place on a baking sheet with the sliced onion. Sprinkle salt on top and toss with about 1 teaspoon of oil. Place thyme sprigs on top and place in the oven during the last 12-15 minutes the squash bakes. Let roast for about 12 minutes, until the onions have softened.
Towards the end of roasting, place a small pot over low heat and add the miso, vinegar, coconut oil, maple syrup, and cayenne. Whisk or stir until melted then take off the heat.
Plate the squash on individual plates or a platter with the onions and pears on top. Discard thyme or strip off some of the leaves onto the squash and pears. Top with toasted almonds and miso dressing. Serve hot.
notes: There is no real sub for white miso, but I think using tahini, almond butter, or cashew butter with 1/2-1 tablespoon of tamari would make for a good sub. White miso can typically be found in the refrigerated section [but also in the aisles] by tofu and tempeh.
Feel like simplifying this a bit? Roast the squash and the pears [no onions or thyme] as described above. Top with sea salt, toasted almonds, and a scoop of maple almond butter or salt + black pepper cashew butter. And then you have breakfast, lunch, or dinner.