I love this combination! I have just discovered how just a single star anise tossed into the sauté pan can change things up. It lends a soft licorice note and compliments the apples and ginger so nicely. Paired with the savory acorn squash all sweetened with a touch of honey makes for a fabulous lunch or side dish.
2 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
olive oil to coat the acorn squash
1 tablespoon on unsalted butter
2 firm crisp apples - such as Fuji or Braeburn
1 star anise
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
On a foil line baking sheet place the acorn squash cut side up and rub all the surfaces with the olive oil.
Roast the acorn squash for about 45-55 minutes depending on how large they are - they should be quite easily pierced with a knife when they are done.
While they acorn squash are roasting, heat a sauté pan to medium high heat and add the unsalted butter
Add the apples, star anise, and the ginger
Sauté until the apples are soft and lightly golden
Add the honey and coat the apples
Season with salt and pepper and set aside
To serve fill the acorn squash with the apple mixture and season with additional salt and pepper or additional honey if desired
Note that you treat star anise the same as a whole clove or a dried bay leaf - you might want to remove before serving, although they are so pretty on the plate!