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Simple Sweet Squash

Prep time 10 min

Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves 6-8

  • 1 medium butternut squash olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2-3 Tbsp. finely chopped pecans
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • finishing salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack on the top third of the oven. Have a baking sheet ready. I don’t use parchment paper with this recipe since we will be adding water to the pan.
  2. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise, trying to keep the two halves as even in size as possible. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the squash and discard. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the skin and the whitish layer just beneath it to expose bright orange flesh. Place on a prepared baking sheet, cut side down. Brush squash with oil and sprinkle it with sea salt and pepper. Cook in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove squash halves to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut slits 1/4 inches apart in the squash, cutting almost but not all the way through.
  4. Return cut squash to the same baking sheet. Heat the 1/4 cup maple syrup and 2 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan until the butter is melted. Stir well to combine. Brush with maple butter mixture. Sprinkle dried thyme leaves over squash, trying to get in it in the slits a bit, if possible. Pour 1/4 cup water into the bottom of the pan, then return to the 425°F oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, baste with more maple butter mixture, add another 1/4 cup of water to trepan and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Tuck 2 or 3 thyme sprigs between a few slits in each squash half. Add pecans to the remaining maple butter mixture and stir to combine. Brush pecan maple butter mixture over top of the squash. Add the final 1/4 cup of water to the pan and return to the oven for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  6. Remove from the oven. Drizzle a bit of maple syrup over each half. Sprinkle with finishing salt.

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