Saturday, October 28, 2017

Maple Dijon Hasselback Butternut Squash

Celebrate the beauty, seasonality and deliciousness of butternut squash by making this unique, fun recipe. Hasselback Butternut Squash is both fabulous in taste and a total show-stopper in presentation. The flavors of maple syrup and Dijon marry together in a herb-y glaze that undeniably compliments the roasted shingles of this slightly sweet orange-hued beauty. This is a side dish that will shine served next to a baked ham or roasted turkey. But, it's, also, enjoyable as a main dish served with a salad for a simple fall or winter dinner.


I am not going to lie to you, however. Preparation here is a bit of a time and effort investment, but is definitely worth it.

First the squash will need cut in half lengthwise. Then, you'll need to scoop out the pulp and seeds. Next, the two halves will need peeled.

Peeling a butternut squash is not the easiest task in the world. But, it is totally doable and totally worth the effort. It took me about ten minutes to peel mine. It pays to be sure to have sharp blades on your peeler. {I tried two different ones that I had. One was newer and so much easier to use.}

Following the peeling, the two halves will need to be popped into the oven for about twenty minutes just to start to soften the flesh so that it is easy to slice through. Please do not attempt to make your tiny cuts {shingles} while the squash is completely raw. Very risky and almost impossible.

After slicing, you'll be brushing on a glaze a few different times before and during the roasting process. And, at the end, you'll top the squash with chopped pecans just before hiking the oven temp up to give everything one last blast of really high heat.

Note that if your squash is super large {like mine}, you should be able to get four-to-six servings out of it so long as you're serving it as a side dish and not a main dish. If your squash is petite, you're probably looking at two-to-four servings.


Ingredients:

1 butternut squash
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 heaping teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 - 3 tablespoons roughly chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Cut squash in half lengthwise. Using a metal spoon, scoop out seeds and pulp.

Using a vegetable peeler with sharp blades, carefully peel the outside of the squash - both the tough outer layer and white underneath layer.

Place the squash cut side down onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.


Roast for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Allow squash to cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add oil, honey, maple syrup, thyme, salt and pepper to a medium bowl.


Whisk until well combined. Set aside.

Remove one squash half from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Position a wooden spoon flush next to the squash. The utensil will act as a guide so that the blade of the knife will not slice all the way through the squash. Working from one end of the squash to the other, use a very sharp and thin-bladed knife to cut slits into the flesh. Be careful not to cut all of the way through. Carefully transfer sliced half back to pan, then repeat with other half.


Brush 1/3 of the glaze mixture onto tops of squash halves.


Pour 1/2 cup hot water into bottom of pan. Return pan to oven. Roast for 15 minutes, then brush with another 1/2 of the remaining glaze mixture. Add 1/4 cup hot water to bottom of pan again. Roast for another 15 minutes.

Mix pecans with remaining glaze. Pour oven squash. Add additional hot water to pan if needed {to ensure even roasting and no burning}. Increase temperature to 475 degrees. Roast an additional 10 - 15 minutes or until squash is completely tender and just beginning to become brown around bottom.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.



Recipe inspired by The Healthy Foodie.




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