Carving a pumpkin last week got me thinking about about the possibility of taking one to the grill. Although I stand by my initial thoughts that it would be delicious, the logistics of size and time to take to make it edible were a bit to much, and so I looked to a smaller, more manageable counterpart, the acorn squash.
After halving and gutting the squash, I brushed them with a seasonally appropriate mixture of butter, brown sugar, sage, maple syrup, granulated onion, and salt and pepper. Then they went on the cool side of a two zone fire for an hour--sprinkled with Asiago cheese half way through--until perfectly tender. The resulting squash was creamy and sweet, with just enough nuttiness from the cheese to make it a great savory side for fall grilling.
Acorn Squash with Asiago and Sage
- 3 acorn squashes, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated aged Asiago cheese
Light a chimney 3/4 full of charcoal. While the fire is lighting, carefully cut each squash in half lengthwise with a large knife. Scoop out and discard the seeds and strings.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of the sage, granulated onion, maple syrup, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Brush butter mixture all over the exposed flesh of each squash.
When charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour coals out and arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate, keeping the other side empty. Place squash, cut side up, on the cool side of the grill, cover and grill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese all over the exposed flesh of each squash. Cover and continue to grill until the flesh is very soft when pierced with the tip of a knife and the cheese has browned, about 30 minutes more. Sprinkle with remaining sage and serve warm.