Braised Apples, Roasted Acorn Squash, and Fresh Thyme
Don’t worry about cutting the squash and apples into perfect cubes—just make them uniform in size. Once these babies come together in the end, it will be a tender, buttery, sweet, tart, herby mix—all that nature has to offer.
- 2 3/4 pounds acorn squash, peeled (see note), halved, seeded, and cut into roughly 1/2-inch dice (about 4 cups)
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup diced red onion (small dice)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 2 Fuji or Gala apples, cut into roughly 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, toss the squash with the melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Transfer the squash to the prepared baking sheet, and roast in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and fork-tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for at least 5 minutes.
Heat the 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper and cook until the onion is soft, about 2 minutes. Add the diced apples and the chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the apples are barely ten- der. (Don’t cook the apples too long you want them to retain their shape.) Remove from the heat.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the roasted squash, the thyme, and the braised apples with their cooking liquid. Toss gently to combine, and serve warm.
Yield: 4 servings