Acorn Squash with Kale and Pecans

Roasted Acorn Squash with Kale and Pecans from She Cooks, He Cleans

We’re starting a new venture with community-supported agriculture this year, and we’re signed up with Rise ‘n Shine Organic Farm.  Two weeks into it now, we’ve racked up plenty of good things  – lettuce, kale, radishes, swiss chard, carrots  –  and also supplements of local honey, pecans, and grits since the growing season here is off to a slow start.  Rise ‘n Shine Farm still has shares open, so if you’re in the Atlanta area or in North Georgia, please go to their website (here) and consider supporting local agriculture!

The kale we received so far is far more tender than what’s in the grocery store, probably because it is early and this is young kale.  It took no effort to wilt it in the saute pan.  The kale with the sweet squash was a nice combination, with a little acidity added from the balsamic vinegar to boost the flavors.  The only other addition I’d like to make is to add some bacon – but alas, I was out!

I didn’t really measure anything, so the amounts are approximates.  This can easily be made into a vegetarian entree, with coconut oil instead of butter or bacon fat.  If acorn squash are out of season, the kale and pecans would also be delicious with a baked sweet potato.

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

  • One acorn squash, split lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 12 kale leaves, washed
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped (or about 1/3 cup sweet onion)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons oil of choice (I used bacon fat and butter.  EVOO and coconut oil are also good choices.)
  • ~1/2 cup pecan halves
  • balsamic vinegar
  • butter or coconut oil for squash
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 4ooF.  Oil a shallow roasting pan and the inside surface of the squash; place the squash cut-side down in the pan.  Roast for 25-30 minutes at 400F, remove from oven, and flip the squash over.  Season the squash lightly with salt and pepper.  Place a dollop of butter or coconut oil in the bowl of the squash (about 1 tablespoon) with a splash of balsamic vinegar.  With a pastry brush, spread the butter/vinegar mixture over the edges and inside of the squash.  Return to oven and roast for an additional 20 minutes, or until the squash is very tender.

While the squash is cooking, remove the tough spines/stem from the kale. (Fold the leaf in half lengthwise, then use a knife to cut the thick part of the spine away from the leaf.)  Stack the leaves together, roll them slightly, and slice the leaves crosswise into slender strips.

Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.  Add the shallot and cook briefly (about 1 minute).  Add the kale and pecans, and stir/toss in the pan with the shallots over the heat until the kale is wilted and tender.  Splash with a little balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  If the taste is a little too acidic or bitter, sprinkle with a little raw sugar.  Stir well to mix, and set aside until the squash is done.

When squash is tender, fill the squash cavity with the kale mixture.  Serve hot and enjoy!

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6 thoughts on “Acorn Squash with Kale and Pecans

  1. This is going to be made at lunch! I’ll cook at home today at noon, and eat it at work, that way they can all be very jealous. Looks sooo good!

  2. I made this last night and it was the most incredible acorn squash dish I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Most acorn squash recipes go on the sweet side and I don’t like that. This was savory perfection. I think I may try a little sprinkle of goat cheese in the last five minutes of baking next time. Other than that I think your recipe was amazing! Thank you sooooo much for sharing.

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