Braised maple squash is perfect for the fall. (Photo/Micah Siva)
Braised maple squash is perfect for the fall. (Photo/Micah Siva)

Braised maple squash with tahini, a perfect seasonal side

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, I’m constantly looking for ways to update my holiday menus using seasonal produce. The start of autumn (even though it doesn’t always feel like it here in the Bay Area!) means one thing: Pumpkin and squash season is upon us! While you’re likely seeing your fair share of pumpkin spice everything, there’s more to pumpkin season than overly sweetened lattes.

Braised Maple Kabocha Squash is the perfect autumnal dinner side dish. Braising is a technique where you lightly fry or sauté and slowly stew vegetables or meat for a perfectly tender, relatively hands-off dish.

Its hearty flesh packed with sweetness, kabocha squash tastes like a cross between a pumpkin and a sweet potato. The best part? The skin is edible, meaning you don’t have to worry about peeling it. If you can’t find kabocha squash, try substituting acorn squash or even wedged sweet potatoes.

Braised Maple Kabocha Squash with Tahini

Serves: 4

  • 1 medium-large kabocha squash (about 2 lbs.)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Halve the kabocha squash and remove the seeds. Slice into wedges, about ½ inch thick.

In an ovenproof Dutch oven or cast-iron pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the squash and cook for 7-9 minutes, or until it begins to brown.

Add the maple syrup, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, vegetable broth, rosemary and salt. Cover.

Place in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

When done, remove the squash wedges from the liquid and transfer to a serving bowl or dish. Simmer the liquid until reduced by half.

Drizzle the squash with the pan juices and tahini. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and parsley. Enjoy!

Micah Siva
Micah Siva

Micah Siva is a registered dietitian and trained chef in San Francisco. She develops modern Jewish recipes inspired by her grandmother, with a plant-forward twist. See her recipes and photography at Nosh with Micah.