Set the oven rack to the center position and preheat to 400ºF (204ºC).
Wash and thoroughly dry the acorn squash.
Place the squash on a sturdy cutting board. Use a chef’s knife to cut the squash in half lengthwise as follows: Identify one side of the stem and begin to carefully cut through the skin and flesh between the ridges until it feels hollow in the center, not the actual stem. Continue to cut around, using small saw motions until you reach the other side of the stem, leave the stem uncut.
Use your hands to pull the two halves apart.
Use a large spoon to remove the seeds. If desired, wash, separate and dry the seeds for roasting later.
Line a large baking sheet with foil.
Grease the foil with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, use a paper towel to evenly spread.
Brush the flesh of the acorn squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Place the squash cut side down and evenly spaced on the baking sheet.
Roast until a knife can easily pierce into the flesh, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the side of the squash.
Carefully turn the squash over with tongs and season with salt and pepper.
If desired, brush the flesh with maple syrup then roast until caramelized, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Season with more salt and pepper, garnish with parsley.
Roasted acorn squash seeds: Wash and dry the seeds. Toss in some olive oil and salt. Place on a sheet pan and roast at 350°F (177ºC) for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until crunchy.