These lovely little dumpling squash make a perfect fall side dish. I often fill them with brown rice and braised greens and make a simple meal of it. However, I think they'd be equally beautiful on a holiday table. They're naturally so sculptural and the perfect size for a single serving. I've seasoned them here with a bit of maple syrup, fresh sage leaves, a sprinkling of red chile flakes, and the tiniest drizzling of cream to finish. All those flavors get absorbed into the flesh of the squash and make for yumminess in every bite.
Note- Dumpling squash are essentially round Delicata squash which would be a fine substitute if you can't find these. Acorn squash would be great here as well.
Roasted Dumpling Squash with Maple & Sage:
Yields 4 servings
4 small round Dumpling squash, interior cleaned and seeds removed, top reserved for serving
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 TB pure maple syrup
1 tsp red chile flakes
8 fresh sage leaves
4 tsp heavy cream (or creme fraiche)
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment (or foil). Place the cleaned squash and the reserved tops on the baking sheet. Drizzle each cavity with a bit of maple syrup, olive oil, a sprinkling of red chile flakes, salt & pepper. Place 2 sage leaves in each squash. Roast both the tops and the seasoned cavity for about 45 minutes until the flesh is fork tender. Remove the sage leaves.
2) Preheat the broiler to medium high. Remove the tops from the baking sheet. Drizzle in 1 tsp of cream per squash and place them under the broiler for about 2 minutes. This will thicken the cream quickly and will blister the skin so it comes off easily when you eat the squash. Serve with the tops set ajar.