I think I learned an important lesson about seasonality from this meal: things that are out of season don't taste very good. My little acorn squash had its heyday months ago, and that's probably why I found it on sale for 69¢ a pound at the market.
Wooed by its diminutive pricetag, I picked it up, planning to stuff it with...something. I had also grabbed some chard, which is currently my favorite vegetable, and also, I think, out of season. The chard was tasty, but the squash - something about it was just...off. It wasn't inedible by any means, but it just didn't have the great squashy flavor. It was just bland and had a strange mealy texture.
Eating seasonally is pretty difficult, I've found, unless you know a lot about farming and horticulture (um, I don't). You really have to be ready to choose ideology over a wide spectrum of vegetables - a tough choice.
At any rate, this dinner was pretty good despite its poor timing, and when winter squash is in season again, it'll be excellent.
ACORN SQUASH STUFFED WITH CHARD AND TOPPED WITH A FRIED EGG AND BALSAMIC-LEMON SAUCE
1/2 acorn squash
a big bunch of chard
2-3 T. chicken broth (water's fine too if you don't have chicken broth)
2 T. balsamic vinegar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper
1 tsp. butter
Preheat oven to 375. Rub the acorn squash with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside and keep warm.
Heat a little olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chard, seasoning with salt and pepper, and cook until wilted, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the chard leaves from the remaining liquid with tongs or a slotted spoon. Set aside and keep warm.
Add the balsamic vinegar and lemon juice to the chard pan liquid, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Fry the egg, yolk intact, until the whites are set, but the yolk is still runny. (You could also poach the egg, but I was too lazy). Place the squash on a plate, top with the chard and some balsamic sauce, and the egg. Enjoy!
Overall, this was a satisfying dinner, even if the squash was suspect. Luckily, I bought some very in-season asparagus for upcoming meals! It's fresh, seasonal, and local - sure to be a delight.
Thanks for reading! More soon...