Here is a simple side dish that I love because it’s super easy and rewarding. It goes with turkey, ham, lamb or pretty much any of your classic christmas recipes. It’s great to be able to add some heat to style of food that normally doesn’t really delve into spice. What is great about adding heat to something that is naturally sweet is that, that balance can make something hot much more palatable for someone who claims they don’t like spicy food.
2 Butternut Squash(Halved and gutted)*
4 tbs softened butter
olive oil (as needed)
On a baking sheet lay your halved and prepared butternut squash hole side up. Score the squash with a sharp knife almost making a grid of 1/4 inch deep cuts. Rub the squash with olive oil just enough to allow the spices to stick. Then sprinkle on the salt, pepper, d’arbola, cayenne, clove and nutmeg. Then top with butter and maple syrup. If the squash is large fell free to add more butter as it really penetrates the flesh of the squash and turns it into a creamy texture. Put in a over preheated to 400 degrees and cook for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes remove and check the texture of the squash. Add more butter and syrup and return to the over for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, wrap in foil and allow 15 minutes of sitting time.
I like to serve this dish mashed but also still on the skin. The colours are great and presenting the thing in it’s skin gives it a great look. I also like to garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary. Just as an aromatic not to be eaten.
*I like to half the squash, remove the guts in the rounded end, and then cut almost a canal down the skinny end so that my butter spice mixture can get to the entire squash.