Grilled Maple-Glazed Acorn Squash
Are you looking for a delicious and healthy side dish that will impress your guests? Look no further than grilled maple-glazed acorn squash! This recipe is a perfect blend of sweet and savory, with the natural sweetness of the squash enhanced by a delectable maple glaze. Whether you’re a seasoned griller or a beginner, this dish is sure to be a hit at your next barbecue.
The Beauty of Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is a winter squash that is known for its distinctive shape and vibrant orange color. Its flesh is sweet and slightly nutty, making it a versatile ingredient for both sweet and savory dishes. When grilled, the natural sugars in the squash caramelize, creating a rich and complex flavor that pairs perfectly with the maple glaze.
Preparing the Squash
Before grilling, it’s important to prepare the acorn squash properly. Start by cutting the squash in half and scooping out the seeds and stringy pulp. Then, slice the squash into wedges or cubes, depending on your preference. This will ensure that the squash cooks evenly and has a tender texture.
Creating the Maple Glaze
The maple glaze is what takes this dish to the next level. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, melted butter, and a pinch of salt. The butter adds richness to the glaze, while the salt enhances the flavors. Whisk the ingredients together until they are well combined and smooth.
Grilling to Perfection
Now it’s time to fire up the grill! Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates to prevent the squash from sticking. Place the squash wedges or cubes on the grill and brush them generously with the maple glaze. Close the grill and let the squash cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until it is tender and has beautiful grill marks.
Grilled maple-glazed acorn squash is a versatile dish that can be served in various ways. You can enjoy it as a side dish alongside grilled chicken or steak, or even add it to salads for a burst of flavor and texture. The smoky and caramelized flavors of the squash pair well with a variety of ingredients, making it a crowd-pleasing option for any occasion.
1. Can I use a different type of squash for this recipe?
While acorn squash is recommended for this recipe, you can certainly experiment with other types of squash, such as butternut or delicata. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may vary, so adjust accordingly.
2. Can I make the maple glaze ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can prepare the maple glaze in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just give it a quick stir before using it on the grilled squash.
3. Can I grill the squash indoors?
If you don’t have access to an outdoor grill, you can still enjoy this dish by using a grill pan or a stovetop grill. Simply follow the same steps and adjust the cooking time as needed.
4. How do I know when the squash is done?
The squash is done when it is tender and easily pierced with a fork. You should also see beautiful grill marks on the surface of the squash.
5. Can I add additional spices to the maple glaze?
Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or even a hint of cayenne pepper to add an extra layer of flavor to the glaze.
6. Can I use a different sweetener instead of maple syrup?
If you don’t have maple syrup on hand, you can substitute it with honey or brown sugar. Keep in mind that the flavor profile may vary slightly, but it will still be delicious.
7. Can I grill the squash in advance and reheat it later?
While it’s best to enjoy the grilled squash fresh off the grill, you can certainly grill it in advance and reheat it later. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it gently to prevent it from becoming too soft.
8. Can I make this recipe vegan-friendly?
Yes! Simply substitute the melted butter with a vegan-friendly alternative, such as melted coconut oil or vegan margarine. The maple glaze will still be deliciously sweet and flavorful.
In conclusion, grilled maple-glazed acorn squash is a delightful side dish that combines the natural sweetness of the squash with a delectable maple glaze. With its vibrant flavors and beautiful grill marks, it’s a show-stopping addition to any meal. So fire up the grill and give this recipe a try – your taste buds will thank you!
Grilled Maple-Glazed Acorn Squash
- Oil , for greasing grill grates
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 acorn squashes , approximately 2 pounds each
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons of toasted pepitas (roasted hulled pumpkin seeds)
- Preheat the grill to medium heat and lightly grease the grill grates.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter and then remove 1/4 cup of the melted butter and set aside. Add the maple syrup, cider vinegar, dry mustard, crushed red pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 4 minutes to reduce slightly. Remove the glaze from the heat and let it cool. Reserve 1/3 cup of the glaze for later use.
- Carefully cut the squashes in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Discard the seeds. Place the squash halves flat-side down and slice them into 1/2-inch scalloped half-moons. Transfer the slices to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, coriander, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle this spice mixture over the squash slices. Pour the reserved 1/4 cup of melted butter over the squash and toss with your hands to ensure even coating.
- Place the squash slices on the grill and cover. Cook until dark grill marks appear, approximately 10 minutes. Flip the squash slices, cover, and cook for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or until the squash is tender enough to be pierced easily with a knife.