Fall has finally reached Montreal, and while this means Instagram feeds will be filled to the brim with pictures of leaves and pumpkin spice lattes, it also means this is the best time of year to reap Mother Nature’s produce. Fruits and vegetables that have been growing all summer are being pulled from the ground, and the markets are now filled with local kale, pumpkin, cauliflower, zucchini and apples, to name a few. In fact, local produce is so easily accessible near McGill campus, that there’s really no reason to not be filling a basket with seasonal goods. From the McGill Farmers Market every Thursday, to one of Montreal’s food box schemes such as Lufa Farms, Saintropol Roulant, or the Good Food Box, getting fruits and vegetables that are in season is easy as ever.
Although the typical McGill undergraduate has no problem writing a five-page paper at the last minute, when confronted with an acorn squash they succumb to complete and utter confusion. Thankfully, the Tribune has deconstructed the mystery behind one of fall’s greatest gourds. Although some may think that an acorn squash is just a shrivelled up pumpkin, they are actually filled with immune system boosting vitamins, and are incredibly easy to bake. What’s more, this recipe is easily adaptable, and can be made with whatever kitchen staple one has on hand—just slip it into the oven and wait for the house to be filled with the smell of real pumpkin spice.
This recipe does not have traditional measurements, so feel free to give and take according to whatever looks interesting at the market, or perhaps more realistically whatever needs to be cleared out of the back of the fridge.
1 winter squash
3 cups of filling (see below)
(1 squash serves 2)
1/2 cup—sausage, chicken, or tempeh and
baked tofu for any vegetarians.
2 cups vegetables —onions, mushrooms, zucchini, greens, or
anything that can be found at the market
1/2 cup cooked grains and/or nuts—examples include barley, quinoa, millet, farro, rice, walnuts, almonds, or pecans
1 to 3 teaspoons herbs or spices such as paprika, cumin, coriander, and cayenne
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese such as goat cheese or Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400 °F/205 °C. Slice the squash in half from stem to root and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash face up on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and salt.
Roast for about 35 to 50 minutes or until your squash is tender in the middle and browned around the edges. Flip face down before removing to slightly char the outside.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the filling. This is a great place to combine leftovers from other meals (like cooked chicken, quinoa or roasted vegetables). Sauté onions for three minutes with spices, add vegetables and protein, and cook until tender. Taste and adjust the spices, salt, and pepper based on personal preference.
Pull the squash out of the oven and flip the cooked squash halves so they form bowls. Divide the filling between the halves, and cover with a sprinkling of cheese.
Place these back in the oven until they are hot and the cheese has melted. Serve and enjoy!
(Recipe adapted from the kitchn)