This super simple side dish can be enjoyed all year long. When I first looked at the finished product, it reminded me of fall; perhaps it was the squash or maybe it was the autumn-like colors that reminded me of the fall foliage. Either way, it brings in an abundance of earthy flavors with a slight crunch from the pistachios.
This is the perfect side dish to make if you're looking for something quick and painless that does not require a lot of time in the kitchen but is also super tasty.
I think Acorn Squash can hold it's own with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper but this addition truly takes it over the top.
A COUPLE THINGS TO NOTE: Massaging your kale turns the greens into a tender and enjoyable leafy vegetable. If you don't massage your kale there's no need to worry, it's just as enjoyable...your pesto will just be a bit more course. I personally enjoy both ways but if you're not sure what to do in this situation, go for the massaged kale.
TO BAKE OR NOT TO BAKE: Yes!! absolutely bake the squash, it definitely needs to be cooked!! The question here is whether or not you should bake the kale pesto with the squash. This is a great time to reference massaged kale again one last time...If you leave you kale as is, I would highly suggest spooning it over before placing the squash into the oven. If not, you may opt to top the roasted squash with freshly blended (an massaged) pesto.
This is quite a delcious easy side dish that has just the right amount of flavor that doesn't overpower the mild flavor of the squash.
2 Acorn Squash
For the pesto-
2 cups kale
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup pistachio nuts
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste for the pesto (plus more for sprinkling the squash)
- Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then slice in the same direction as the ridges. Season with salt and pepper, toss in olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Prepare the pesto by combining kale, pistachio nuts, garlic, olive oil and parmesan in a food processor; pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove squash from oven, spoon pesto on top, return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes.