Thursday, November 08, 2007
HONEY-ROASTED SQUASH WEDGES
I had three-fourths of a butternut squash in the refrigerator, left over from last week’s pizza. I had a jar of delicious CSA honey. And I had this recipe. It hadn’t looked especially exciting to me when I first saw it, but I dutifully photocopied it from the library’s copy of Martha Stewart Living Annual Recipes 2002, figuring it might come in handy if the CSA stuck me with a bunch of weird winter squash. It’s practically a no-brainer to put butter, cinnamon, and salt and pepper on squash, but what a difference the honey made. The result was tender squash coated in a sticky, chewy, spiced glaze, so sweet it could have been dessert. As A exclaimed, “It’s like candy—with vitamins in it!” This was not only delicious, it was also beyond simple to make: just mix ingredients and bake. The baking time is just long enough for you to prepare something to go with the squash (I made zucchini fritters; with some pears on the side, it was an odd jumble of fallish food that somehow managed to work together). If you slice your squash thinner than the 2 inches recipe calls for, as I impatiently did, it’ll bake even quicker.
The original recipe calls for acorn squash, but I think any winter squash would work just fine. I peeled my partial butternut squash, cut it in half and seeded it, and sliced it into ½-inch-thick slices—which, predictably, became very soft and brown very fast in the oven. In the future, I think I’d split the difference and go with 1-inch-thick slices. I’ll also add a little cardamom to the honey-butter mixture next time, because I freakin’ love cardamom. Regardless, this is definitely going to be one of my go-to squash recipes from now on.
2 acorn squash, or equivalent amount of any other winter squash
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half through the stem end and remove the seeds (you can peel the squash if desired; of the squashes I regularly use, I know that butternuts and delicata should be peeled, while acorns and sweet dumplings don't need to be). Cut each half into 1-to-2-inch-thick slices and place the slices in a large roasting pan (I used a baking sheet coated with tin foil, because burning sugar always makes a mess).
2. Mix together the melted butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the squash and toss well (or, since the honey mixture is pretty thick, painting it on with a pastry brush might work well, too). Roast the squash, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden brown (about 30 minutes).
Time: 50 minutes