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A dish of squash with garnish and toppings
Roasted squash? Warm, wintry, wonderful. Want.
Linda Xiao

A Wintry, One-Pan Wonder

Make Melissa Clark's healthy, flavorful, veggie-forward one-pan dinner

Melissa Clark is a bestselling cookbook author, and has been a staff reporter for the New York Times Food section since 2007.

January 24, 2024 5:26 pm

Melissa Clark knows a thing or two about meals prepared in one pot or pan…she literally wrote the book on it! Today, the NYT writer and author of Dinner in One: Exceptional & Easy One-Pan Meals is here to school us on singular-vessel cooking with delicious recipes from her book. Over to you, Melissa, in 3…2…1 (pot). -NPH

If I didn’t have a family to feed, I’d happily eat roasted vegetables topped with melted cheese pretty much every day. Here, the vegetable in question is acorn squash, sliced into golden crescents and topped with a gooey layer of washed-rind cheese. Chopped almonds provide some crunch, smoky chile flakes give a bit of heat and a drizzle of amber honey adds a contrasting sweet note. Then, just before serving, I plop the whole thing down on a bed of bitter lettuces and quick-pickled shallots for verve. Who needs anything else?

Melissa Clark’s Acorn Squash With Taleggio, Honey and Aleppo Almonds

Servings: 4 servings

Copy Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash (about 2 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1-inch wedges (no need to peel)
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. good dark honey, such as buckwheat or chestnut, divided
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 tsp. balsamic vinegar, plus more for drizzling
  • 6 ounces soft cow’s milk cheese with washed rind, such as taleggio, fontina or Brie, hand torn into small pieces (including rind)
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped toasted, salted almonds
  • ½ tsp. Aleppo pepper or Turkish pepper, such as Urfa, plus more as needed
  • 1 lemon
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Bitter lettuces, such as arugula, radicchio or frisée, or use baby lettuces instead

Copy Directions

    1. Heat the oven to 400ºF. Place squash and thyme sprigs in a shallow 2-quart casserole dish or an 11 by 7-inch baking dish.

    2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, 2 tablespoons of the honey, the kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper. Pour over the squash and toss to combine. Arrange the squash wedges so they are standing up like boats, with the skin side down (don’t worry if some fall over, it’s inevitable). Roast until the squash is soft and caramelized, 45 to 50 minutes.

    3. Meanwhile, make the pickled shallots: In the same small bowl you just used (no need to wash it), combine the shallot, balsamic vinegar, remaining 1 teaspoon honey and a pinch of kosher salt, and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

    4. Once the squash is golden and tender, sprinkle the cheese onto the wedges (it’s okay if some cheese falls onto the baking dish). Sprinkle the squash with the almonds and Aleppo pepper, then grate the zest from half the lemon (or the whole lemon if yours is small) directly on top of everything. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

    5. Cut the naked lemon into quarters. When the squash is done, squeeze the juice from a lemon wedge all over it, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and oil, and season with more Aleppo pepper, if you like, and flaky sea salt.

    6. Serve the squash with lemon wedges, lettuces, and pickled shallots alongside and drizzled with more vinegar and oil.

Note: Other winter squash varieties can stand in for the acorn squash. Just slice them up (peeled or not, as you like), and then check on them often while they are roasting, since different varieties may need more or less time in the oven. Sweet potatoes, cut lengthwise into wedges, would also work well.

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