Pork and Squash
The sweet, salty, savory, and nutty combination of roasted acorn squash with the pork rinds is what you are looking for. I’m honestly shocked that I haven’t come across this idea in the past.
The pork rinds? Yeah, that’s that topping on the acorn squash. The crusty bits are an accent, mixed with some spices and herbs, designed to provide texture and enhance the overall meal.
I don’t see pork rinds.
Moderation my friend. These aren’t coated completely and fried, they are mixed in a bowl with spices, herbs, pork rinds and then roasted in the oven. I use a finely ground pork rind called Pork Panko, similar to panko breadcrumbs. You can simply buy it in a jar and use it as a crispy topping whenever, which is what we did here:
Multitasking in the kitchen
I cook with the oven pretty frequently, and when it’s on, it’s full. Roasted vegetables adorn the shelves in my fridge, being my style of consumption. I’m not a salad guy, can you tell?
Roasted acorn squash can be a bit soft, especially if you’re the type that doesn’t eat the skin (I definitely do, but no judgment). Grab a small pan, toss some pumpkin seeds in there, and spread them out. There’s no need for oils or spices, they will roast alongside the squash within minutes, and you’ll have the most delicious topping (or snack) with no effort.
What should I eat these with?
I’m not going to lie, sometimes I eat these on their own with a tall, crisp beer. However, they do pair really well with roasted/smoked poultry. Check out my holiday recipes here for some other ideas:
The sweet, salty, savory, and nutty combination of roasted acorn squash with the pork rinds is what you are looking for.
- 2 acorn squash (around 1 ½ lb each)
- 2 tsp vegetable, or canola oil
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup Pork Panko
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds, roasted
- Maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Wash the squash very well and dry. Trim the top off each squash, and place them cut-side down on the cutting board. Slice the squash in half, using a spoon to remove the innards.
- Carefully slice the acorn squash into wedges. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the oil and mix the squash, adding in the salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine the Pork Panko and the remaining spices.
- Place the acorn squash slices on a rimmed baking sheet (might need 2 sheets). Sprinkle the Pork Panko mixture onto the squash, each side.
- Bake the squash for about 15 minutes, flipping if needed, and then for another 10 until they are fully cooked. Total of approx 25-30 minutes.
- Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds and maple syrup when ready to serve.
Roast some pumpkin seeds in a small pan in the oven alongside the squash. They only take 5-7 minutes, shaking halfway through. Be careful not to burn them.
Keywords: vegetables, roasting, side dish, holiday recipe