Nearly everyone has squash on their Thanksgiving table. Growing up, we often had more than one kind — and sweet potatoes — all boiled and mashed with butter and brown sugar, and all nearly the same shade of orange. It can get pretty confusing, especially if you don’t like sweet potatoes (I’ve found ways I do like them, but that’s not one of them!) My dad was so very fond of the dry, mealy Blue Hubbard squash that we often had it on the table even though he was the only one who liked it, so it was definitely a gamble for me. The third option was typically buttercup squash, which is still among my favorite varieties, but as an adult, my list of favorites has grown exponentially. Another favorite of mine is the carnival squash, which is a hybrid of a sweet dumpling squash and an acorn squash. It lends itself well to being roasted, as all squash varieties tend to.
One thing I find most Thanksgiving spreads are lacking is acid; the only tangy thing on the table is typically the cranberry sauce, among a sea of rich and savory, so this dish can help break up that monotony we all find ourselves in.
Roasted Carnival Squash with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
- 1 medium squash, seeded and thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. maple sugar
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place squash slices on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast 10-15 minutes (or until they begin to caramelize.) Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard and maple sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste, and use to dress squash. Serve as-is, or reserve some vinaigrette to drizzle on roasted or smoked chicken or pork as well.