When we were kids and it was Thanksgiving, my sister and I could never agree on cranberry sauce. She preferred jellied cranberry sauce, and I had to have whole. And so every year my mother — fair and generous and wonderful woman that she is — bought both.
These days, my sister and I are both pretty into the homemade stuff, and of course we are — it’s delicious and just about the easiest thing in the world to put together. Plus, there’s no awkward cylindrical shape that you have to mash up with a spoon in order to outwit your relatives into thinking you made yourself. Yes, this feels right.
I was at Trader Joe’s a couple of weeks ago when I spotted my first fresh cranberries and I hadtohavethem. When I got home, I stashed them in the back of my fridge, thinking I would save them for something seasonal as we inched a bit closer to Thanksgiving. But then I ended up pulling them back out not even an hour later to make — of all things — a simple cranberry sauce. And, like the cranberries themselves, I had no idea what I would do with the cranberry sauce, but I hadtohaveit.
One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving foods is that they’re a freaking mess. Turkey topped with stuffing submerged in creamed onions adorned with thick, happy gravy; a plate of 6 ‘slivers’ of pie — all of which are leaning into each other to become one big, beautiful dessert catastrophe. And so as much as this cranberry sauce seems not to belong on top of a big pile of acorn squash, it sort of does. Actually, it does completely.
Sauteed Acorn Squash with Paleo Cherry-Maple Cranberry Sauce.
Paleo Cherry-Maple Cranberry Sauce.
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1-1/4 cup 100% black cherry juice
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Sea salt
Sauteed Acorn Squash with Sage.
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 acorn squash, seeded and cut into small, 1/2 inch pieces (*see note)
- 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- Sea salt
Make the cranberry sauce ahead of time. In a sauce pot, combine all ingredients and heat over medium, stirring frequently. Cook for about 10 minutes, until most of the cranberries have popped, then remove the mixture from the heat and store it in the refrigerator. The cranberry sauce with thicken as it chills.
In a large saute pan, heat the ghee. Add the squash and stir well to coat evenly with the ghee. Cook for about 5 minutes (until the squash begins to soften), and then add your sage and a bit of sea salt. Continue to saute until the squash is browned on the outsides by fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Salt additionally to taste.
*NOTE: I don’t peel my acorn squash because I don’t mind eating the skin. You might prefer to peel yours, though.