Dishing Up the Dirt

Almond & Herb Crusted Acorn Squash With Sriracha Cashew Aioli

I made these tasty acorn squash wedges with Super Bowl Sunday in mind. I love a good snack when I’m guilted into watching sports on TV.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a big football fan however, we’ve been following along this season and I’m pretty stoked that the Seahawks and Patriots will be battling it out on Sunday. I don’t know who I’ll upset for saying this but go Seahawks!!!

Anyhow, regardless of who you’re rooting for these almond and herb crusted squash wedges will be a great addition to any snack spread that you may be preparing. I was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi (the author of the popular cookbook Plenty) to make this dish. He has a recipe for crusted pumpkin wedges with sour cream that sound fantastic. I’ve switched things up a bit and added my own twist but Ottolenghi is the inspiration for this simple side dish/appetizer. He chose traditional bread crumbs and a sour cream sauce for his pumpkin wedges while I went a little more “hippie” and made this with almond meal and a sriracha cashew “aioli.” I’m pretty darn happy with how everything turned out and was eating the sauce by the spoonful as I adjusted the seasonings to taste.

I’ve recently found an awesome local sriracha -or as they call it “sarachee” sauce (Thai and True Sarachee)  that doesn’t have any weird ingredients or secret preservatives. It packs a LOT of heat and a little goes a long way. I love adding this to anything from eggs, avocado toast, to roasted veggies and black bean burgers. It’s addicting!

The creamy cashew sauce is spiced up with a little garlic, nutritional yeast, lime juice and of course the sriracha. However, if cashew sauce isn’t your thing simply substitute with mayo, sour cream or full fat plain yogurt.

I’ve found over the years that when making cashew dips I like using my food processor when I want a thicker and more spreadable consistency (like topping a baguette of bread or spreading on a sandwich) and when I want a really smooth and “saucier” dip I like to prepare it in my high speed blender to achieve the smoothes and creamiest consistency possible. I whipped out the high speed blender for this irresistible dip!

This recipe has plenty of wiggle room and you can play around with herbs and spices as much as you want. I recommend serving these with your favorite beer and a good ballgame on the TV. By the way, this will probably be the only time you ever hear me suggest eating in front of the TV. It’s just not my style but for the sake of the Super Bowl I’m all about it! Cheers.

Almond & Herb Crusted Acorn Squash with Sriracha Cashew Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes    Cook Time: 40 minutes    Serves: 4

For the squash:
  • 1 large acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 Tablespoons grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon course sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 cup of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
For the Sauce:
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 30 minutes OR if you're in a pinch for time pour a few cups of boiling water into the bowl of cashews and soak for 10 minutes.
  • 1/2 cup water + additional to thin if necessary
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast + more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce + more to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • pinch of fine sea salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and then cut along the ridges into thin wedges-about 1/2 inch thick. No need to peel as the skin is edible.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the almond meal, herbs, salt, pepper and crushed garlic.
  4. Brush the squash wedges generously with the oil and sprinkle with the crust mix, making sure the slices are covered with a nice, thick coating. Gently pat the mixture down a little.
  5. Place the squash in a single layer on two prepared baking sheets. Roast in the oven until tender and lightly browned. About 30-40 minutes. Stick a little knife into one of the wedges to make sure it has softened and is cooked through. Rotate pans halfway through cooking. If the topping starts to darken too much during cooking, cover loosely with foil.
  6. Prepare the sauce. Drain the cashew from the soaking water and rinse under cold water. Place the cashews, water, garlic, nutritional yeast, sriracha, lime juice and salt into a high speed blender. Blend on the highest speed until smooth and creamy. Taste test and adjust seasonings as need be. If the sauce is too thick add additional water 1 Tablespoon at a time and if the sauce is too thin add a couple more cashews (if they aren't pre-soaked that's okay).
  7. Serve the squash on a platter and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with sriracha sauce and enjoy.

Notes

*Use this recipe as a guide. *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. *Cooking times will vary depending on your vegetables and oven.


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4 thoughts on “Almond & Herb Crusted Acorn Squash With Sriracha Cashew Aioli

  1. You continue to impress me with these beautiful creations! Those look so awesome and tasty – love the local sriracha option 🙂

  2. Francesca says:

    Love your self proclaimed hippy interpretation 🙂

  3. This is just so beautiful, Andrea. Your photos are gorgeous and I love your creativity!

    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you Liz!

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