This dish was a big surprise. I saw Mario Batali make it on The Chew and Sherry Shepherd was raving about how good it was. I am always looking for interesting side dishes that incorporate a lot of healthy ingredients so I knew I wanted to try it out.
I am typically a fan of squash but Jim is hit or miss. Acorn squash has never been his favorite. When he tried this we both agreed that this is a keeper. It was really good! I love the slight tomato flavor in the sautéed spinach as it pairs with the creamy roasted squash. The breadcrumbs on top give it a nice crunch.
It’s a surprisingly good side dish.
Recipe is slightly adapted from Mario Batali
- 3 medium acorn squash
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (you could certainly use less if you want this a little lighter.)
- 1½ cup chopped scallions (2 bunches; whites and about 2 inches of the greens)
- 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- About 8 cups of spinach or other greens cut into ribbons
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs such as panko
- ½ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Quarter each acorn squash and remove the seeds. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes until tender.
- While the squash is baking, heat remaining oil in a large pan such as a dutch oven over medium heat and sauté the scallions and garlic cloves. Add the spinach and stir well to coat all the leaves. Cook the spinach until completely wilted and they are pretty dry - about 5-10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes. Allow this mixture to cool.
- Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmigiano along with a little oil. Toss to combine with a fork. Divide the spinach mixture evenly among the acorn squash quarters and top with the breadcrumbs. Pat the breadcrumbs down a bit so that they stick. Place under the broiler for about 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned.