- 2 medium acorn squash
- 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 3 tablespoons hazelnut or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- ¾ cup crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, skins removed and coarsely chopped
This dish is sweet, creamy, crunchy, and savory all at once, reminding me to eat slowly and appreciate how the ingredients complement each other.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut the ends from the squash, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Slice each half into four wedges. Spread all of the squash pieces and the garlic cloves on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle on the hazelnut oil and sprinkle with the salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss with your hands, rubbing each piece of squash to be sure it is coated with oil. If you like to be more intentional, you can use a brush to paint the oil on each acorn wedge. Bake in the oven until browned on the edges and cooked through, about 25 minutes.
- While the squash are baking, put the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it gently boil until reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. It will also thicken as it cools, so watch it carefully; if you let it boil too long, it will be impossible to pour.
- Put the crème fraîche in a small bowl and add a few grinds of fresh pepper. When the roasted vegetables are just cool enough to touch, push the garlic out of their skins into the crème fraîche. Use the back of a fork to smash the garlic, blending it into the cream.
- To serve individually, place a few wedges of squash on a plate, drizzle with the balsamic glaze, sprinkle with the oregano and hazelnuts, and place a dollop of crème fraîche in the middle. When assembling a larger platter, serve the crème fraîche on the side.