There isn’t a variety of squash that I don’t like. From butternut to kabocha to spaghetti, my wish to go back to long summer days filled with a glut of produce fades away with the takeover of root vegetables. The one thing I find a pain about squash is peeling and cutting, so I do my best to find ways of cooking it that involve as little prep as possible. My peeler is sharp, but it’s no match for such thick skin.
With its bumpy ridges, acorn squash is always better not peeled. Roasting in the oven softens its protective outside. Instead of olive oil, I tossed the squash in a mixture of melted butter and maple syrup. Once the wedges were on the sheet pan, I sprinkled cayenne pepper in the remaining buttery syrup and added pecans. The spicy nuts perfectly offset the sweetness of the maple syrup glazed acorn squash.
1 acorn squash (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
Cut off the top and bottom of the acorn squash and then halve it lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Slice into 1/2-inch-thick wedges.
In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and maple syrup. Toss the wedges in the mixture and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the squash in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan. Roast for 25-30 minutes until tender.
Add the cayenne pepper to the remaining butter-maple syrup mixture in the bottom of the bowl. Toss in the pecans and remove from the bowl with a slotted spoon.
Before serving, top the squash with the pecans.