Pre-bake acorn squash to make cutting them a snap for a festive holiday meal. This tip works for kabocha, jester, and other winter squash too. Pre-baking makes cutting the squash faster and safer. See the recipe below for how to keep stuffed squash warm to serve up to an hour later.
I made this recipe for a birthday party with 11 guests this week. For once, I was ready to welcome everyone before the doorbell rang! My friends loved how pretty the squash looked and the savory/sweet flavor combination. I was worried about finding seven organic acorn squash to bake. Imagine my delight when I found mountains of local organic squash on sale! I used acorn squash for the party because I'd never tried the jester squash. The jester squash I bought to try turned out to be similar in flavor and texture to acorn squash, but with a harder shell. The pre-baking technique below worked very well for the jester squash. Its bright colors were still vivid after baking. Organic acorn squash was a real bargain at just $1.49 a pound, but the colorful jester squash would be a worthy splurge, especially if you use it as a decoration for a week or so before you eat it. Kabocha squash is even more flavorful but harder to find.