Roasted Butternut Squash

Roasted Hasselback Butternut Squash

This year Thanksgiving will be different. For most of us, the celebration will happen in a tighter circle or even Zoom meeting. Without traveling across the country and attending a loud gathering with extended family. Our family is no different. And since our usual celebration has shrunk from twenty to two people, I see no other way than to pardon our Thanksgiving turkey and cook a more appropriate alternative. With this in mind, I’m making the glorious roasted butternut squash a centerpiece of this year’s Thanksgiving table.

I really like the idea of not roasting a turkey and taking another road. It’s certainly forced me to get more creative with the menu, and also, it feels good to save a bird’s life once in a while XD

Ok, I am getting back to my squash. The Hasselback Butternut Squash recipe I’m posting today is simple and straightforward but incredibly comforting and flavorsome. I used a shiny brown butter and maple syrup glaze to add some caramelization and compliment the natural flavor of butternut squash. You can find the instruction for the glaze in the recipe. I told you it’s simple! To make the magic happen, you’ll just need basic knife skills to slice the butternut squash “not-quite-all-the-way through,” and a bit of patience. As a result, you’ll be rewarded with a festive main dish that goes well with all of the Thanksgiving favorites, including creamy mashed potato and tart cranberry sauce. I topped my butternut squash with a swirl of pomegranate molasses and some pomegranate seeds to add a pop of color. But you can go with toasted nuts, seeds, or zesty gremolata.

Roasted Hasselback Butternut Squash with Brown Butter Glaze

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 stick 2 oz unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 6-8 sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses for serving
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds for serving

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat the oven to 425°. Using a peeler or a pairing knife, remove hard skin and a thin layer of white flesh below. Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  • Using a large sharp knife, score rounded sides of squash crosswise, going deep but not-quite-all-the-way through. Rub the squash with oil; season with salt and pepper. Stick the sage leaves in between the cuts. Place the squash into a baking dish, flat side down, and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Continue cooking the butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it gets golden and starts smelling nutty. It will take about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately, or it might burn, and stir in the maple syrup.
  • After 15 minutes of roasting, start brushing the squash with the maple-butter sauce. Do it every 15 minutes until the squash is very tender and caramelized, about 45 to 60 minutes. Then, remove the squash from the oven.
  • Serve the butternut squash warm, topped with pomegranate molasses and pomegranate seeds.