Life’s not all about roasted vegetables. When they’re steamed, vegetables come out refreshed and hydrated, as if they’ve spent a day at the spa. They taste like their best selves, ready to be zhuzhed up with a punchy ginger-soy dressing. It all happens in the time it would take to heat up the oven—and there’s no oily baking sheet to clean when you’re done.
3scallions, white and dark green parts separated, thinly sliced
1garlic clove, finely chopped
2Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
2Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1Tbsp. soy sauce
1tsp. finely chopped peeled ginger
1small kabocha or 2 acorn squash (about 2 lb.)
1tsp. toasted sesame seeds
Pour water into a large saucepan, wide skillet, or large wok to come 1″ up the sides and place over medium-high heat. Mix white and pale-green parts of scallions, garlic, vinegar, oil, soy sauce, honey, and ginger in a small heatproof ramekin. Set inside a large bamboo steamer off heat (or, if using a metal insert, don’t bring water to a simmer and fit into saucepan before adding dressing. Cover dressing with foil.)
Cut squash in half; scoop out and discard seeds. Slice into ½”-thick wedges. Arrange in steamer basket around ramekin, overlapping a little if needed (for metal insert, add as much squash as will fit without piling up, placing over dressing). Set over saucepan (or turn on heat), cover, and steam until squash is tender (a tester, skewer, or paring knife should easily slide through flesh), 13–15 minutes.
Transfer squash to a platter and top with scallion greens and sesame seeds. Serve with dressing alongside.