Mom on the Run: Acorns

BY BETH COLVIN

Assistant Food editor

Of all the winter squashes, acorn is my favorite.

Not only is it a pretty shape that comes in vibrant fall colors, it’s also versatile and tasty as a main dish or as a side. While it’s similar to butternut squash and sweet potato, the texture is much different and there are also subtle differences in taste.

It’s not quite as smooth as butternut squash, but the slightly more fibrous texture just means there’s more for the butter and cinnamon I usually serve mine with to stick to.

The flavor, while still warm, is just a touch more green than other squashes, giving it a fresh flavor that’s a nice change of pace in winter and is also welcome in spring while we wait for summer squashes to come into season.

My favorite way to prepare acorn squash is simply — rinse it, seed it and bake it in about an inch of water or broth. Then scoop out the pulpy insides and season with butter and cinnamon.

I’ve also melted a hunk of soft cheese in the warm squash or served it in a casserole, but the plain and simple still suits it best, in my opinion.

If you want to make your acorn into a complete meal, its round shape means it’s great for stuffing. Wild rice and pork sausage are good places to start, and the slightly sweet flavor means it’s also accepting of some dried fruit like raisins or cranberries.

Beth Colvin is The Advocate’s assistant Food editor. She can be reached at bcolvin@theadvocate.com