As I mentioned in my previous post, Cooking Secrets of Adulthood, roasted vegetables make for an excellent breakfast. One of my favorite such breakfasts are roasted halves of small squash, like acorn, delicata, and buttercup. The squash are tasty enough on their own with a little maple syrup, or they can serve as a bowl for more substantial fillings, like porridge or yogurt and granola. I find warm squash in the morning to be a soothing start to the day and often easier to digest than my usual toast.
Because I could never hack open a squash pre-coffee, I tend to roast a few small squash on Sundays and refrigerate them to use through the week. Then I simply rewarm them in the toaster oven as my coffee drips into the Chemex. If I have a little extra time, I’ll bake an egg right in the cavity. (Think of this as a gluten-free egg in a hole.) I wrote up my method for the baked eggs below, but first, a few more topping and serving ideas for your squash halves.
- Brush with maple syrup and dust with sesame seeds.
- Put some wilted greens or other cooked mushrooms in the squash halves under the egg before you bake them.
- Grate Parmigiano-Reggiana cheese over the squash before you re-warm.
- Fill with warm lightly buttered farro, quinoa, or millet and top with sliced almonds and berries or crumbled bacon.
- Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and chopped pistachios.
- 1 or 2 small winter squash
- Extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Eggs (1 for each squash half)
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Halve each squash from the stem end to the blossom end. Scoop out the seeds and reserve, if desired. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the cut sides of the squash with oil and season with salt and pepper. If you're using the seeds, toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the squash cut side down until the edges are browned and the flesh is tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the squash. At this point, you can let the squash cool to room temperature and refrigerate for several days.
- To bake eggs in the squash, preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the roasted squash halves cut side up, cutting off the small piece of the bottoms if necessary to help the squash sit flat. Crack 1 egg into each squash half and bake until just set, 15 to 20 minutes. (If the squash starts off cold, it could take a few minutes longer.)
- Sprinkle with salt and serve.