Roasted Acorn Squash Agrodolce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Fried Sage Leaves:

Vegetable oil, for frying

15 fresh sage leaves

Pinch kosher salt


2 large acorn squash

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

Kosher salt

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 

2 tablespoons sugar 

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese 

1/4 cup smoked almonds 


  1. For the fried sage leaves: Heat a small saucepan with 1 inch oil over medium-high heat. Test the oil by touching the tip of a sage leaf in the oil; if it bubbles, the oil is ready for frying. Fry the leaves, 3 to 4 at a time, until the bubbles subside and the leaves become crisp. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
  2. For the squash: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Using a chef's knife, cut off a small amount off the top and bottom of each squash. Set the squash, cut-side down, and cut in half. Using a large spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut each half into 5 wedges and place them in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, cayenne, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss with your hands to coat well, then transfer the squash to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and fork tender, 35 minutes.
  4. Place the butter in a small skillet and melt over medium heat until the foam subsides and the solids begin to smell nutty and turn brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Allow the butter to cool for 2 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, then whisk in the brown butter, using a rubber spatula to get all the brown bits out of the pan. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Lay the squash on a serving platter and spoon the vinaigrette over. Dollop with the mascarpone and sprinkle with the almonds and fried sage.