Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Maple-Glazed Roasted Acorn Squash with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds #Thanksgiving @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: I’ve mentioned before that Mr. Right and I are classic cabooses, many years younger than our siblings. As a result, we’ve never been allowed to host family holiday dinners. And when we stay home, as we’ve done more often in recent years, we’re not traditionalists. We’re just as likely to cook crab as turkey for Christmas, and the pie could be pecan or cranberry apple.

So I’m not the cook to ask for a traditional holiday menu. But when I spotted this recipe in the Costco magazine, I thought it just the right twist on tradition. And while it was terrific served with grilled chicken, in an Italian marinade, and a kale caesar, it would also be a beautiful and tasty addition to a more traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas menu.

Oh, heck, it might even be fun for Valentine’s Day. Easter, maybe not.

Costco attributes the recipe to chef Sean Sherman, from America the Great Cookbook (2017). As usual, I’ve rewritten the instructions and tweaked the ingredients. Although written for an acorn squash, other varieties would work as well. You’ll be leaving the skin on—lots of vitamins in that skin! I switched the sunflower oil for olive, and cut the maple syrup—you want just a hint of the maple-sweetness, but these aren’t pancakes, for heavens’ sake. The original recipe suggests nasturtium leaves (!) or sage for garnish; we used parsley, which was lovely.

Whatever you prepare, and wherever you celebrate this Thanksgiving (even it was last month, for our Canadian friends), know that we here at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen are grateful for your friendship, and for letting us enter your homes and in-boxes with our books, our recipes, and our stories.

Maple-Glazed Roasted Acorn Squash with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 acorn squash
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
fresh herbs for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise; scoop out the seeds and pulp, and trim off the ends. Place halves on cutting board, cut side down, and slice into half moons, about 3/8" thick. Place the moons in a glass baking dish; add the oil and salt, and toss to coat. Roast until tender and lightly carmelized, about 35 minutes.

Heat a small frying pan over medium. Toast the pumpkin seeds, stirring or tossing, until the color starts to turn, about 5 minutes. Turn onto cutting board and cool slightly; crush with a rolling pin.

When the squash is cooked, turn onto a serving platter. Lightly drizzle with the maple syrup, turning to drizzle both sides. Top with the crushed seeds and garnish with the herbs. Serve.

Serves 4-6.

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. This recipe looks delicious and easy, and I love acorn squash. Thanks for sharing, Leslie, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Fabulous, Leslie! We love all the ingredients. Thanks for putting them together in such a tasty way. Hugs.

    1. Tasty and easy! And kinda pretty, too!
      Hugs back atchya!

  3. Tasty and easy to make.
    Another MLK winner!

  4. Thanks. We’re always looking for a fun squash recipe for fall. I think this would go well with ham too. The use of maple syrup is an interesting treat. Enjoy your Thanksgiving whatever you choose to do this year!

    1. Jane, I think it will go nicely with a winter ham. Enjoy!