Grilled Acorn Squash

Grilled Acorn Squash
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grilled acorn squash
A lot of effort for a small side!

Normally, when we have an acorn squash, we just slice it in half, put a bit of butter (and perhaps a sprinkle of brown sugar) in the center, and bake it in the oven with whatever else we’re having that evening. It’s simple, and often simple is the best way to cook up something that’s already full of flavor, like acorn squash.

This time, we did something different. Based on a recipe from Dining at the White House, by John Moeller, we decided to try grilling slices of it, instead. We’d already planned on grilling  potato slices for our Grilled-Potato Galette with Rosemary-Chèvre Sauce, so it was simple enough to toss on a few slices of squash at the same time. And, we could use the same marinade for both the potatoes and the squash. Simple. (In reality, the marinade for the potatoes is based on the squash recipe, but no matter, as we changed it significantly).

Makes 2 servings.

Grilled Acorn Squash

Grilled Acorn Squash


    For the marinade
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chervil
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Acorn squash, halved and seeded

Abbreviated Instructions

In a large bowl, mix together everything but the squash. Slice the squash into 1/4-inch thick slices. Peel and toss in marinade. Let sit for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally to coat.

Grill squash slices over a hot fire for 3 to 5 minutes on a side.

Either serve immediately, or transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200°F oven.

Ingredient discussion:

The original recipe called for Herbes de Provence. We generally don’t buy pre-mixed spices, so we made do with the variety of herbs listed above. You could make the marinade with any spices and it still would be good. Be careful when peeling the squash, as the skin is often tough, and it can be difficult to peel.

Procedure in detail:

Make marinade. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, thyme, oregano, dill, chervil, salt, and pepper. Stir it until everything is well blended.

sliced acorn squash
We slice most of the squash cross-wise, but it didn’t really matter which way they were sliced. Acorn squash is just hard to peel.

Prep squash. We had no idea whether it would be easier to peel the squash if we made the slices cross-wise (across the ribs) or length-wise (with the ribs), so we tried it both ways. Neither direction made it easy to peel the squash. So, whatever your choice, slice the squash into 1/4-inch slices and then peel each slice (or try peeling first, then slicing;, perhaps that’s easier).

Marinate and grill. Put the slices in the marinade and let them sit for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally with a spoon to coat, then place the slices on a hot grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on a side, or until tender.

grilled acorn squash
A tasty side, but not worth the effort!

Serve. If you have other things to prepare, place the grilled squash slices on a baking sheet and keep them warm in a 200°F oven. Or, reheat them later at 350°F for about 20 minutes.

The squash was a pain to peel, and that’s reflected in the rating for this recipe. It was a lot of trouble just to have these ready to eat. We think that a better way to make these would be to coat the cut side of each squash half with marinade, grill for 10 minutes, flip, put marinade in the center of the squash, then grill until done. But as it is, with all that peeling, it’s doubtful that we’ll go to the trouble of slicing beforehand. That said, the flavor was good, with the squash getting a bit of a smoky flavor, but with such a short cooking time, it wasn’t really dramatic. We think you could have made nearly the same thing in the oven with just the marinade and squash. So, three stars.

Worth the trouble?

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