1 large butternut or 2-3 small honeynut squash (about 3 lbs. total)
1 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Fresno or other red chili, thinly sliced
¼ cup agave, maple syrup or a combination
3 T. unsalted butter
2 T. apple cider vinegar
6-8 bay leaves (dried or fresh)
Place the oven rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°.
Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a large spoon. Using a peeler, remove the skin and white flesh below (you should reach the dark orange flesh). Rub all over with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a baking dish just large enough to hold the halves side by side, until beginning to soften, 15-18 minutes (a paring knife should easily slip in only about 1/4 inch).
Meanwhile, bring the chili, maple syrup/agave, butter and vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until just thick enough to coat a spoon, 6-8 minutes. NOTE: Remove chili as soon as desired heat level is reached (check it after a couple minutes), but keep it for serving. Reduce heat to very low and keep glaze warm.
Transfer squash to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Using a sharp knife, score rounded sides of squash halves crosswise (about ¼ inch), going as deep as possible but without cutting all the way through. Return squash to the baking dish, scored sides up, and tuck bay leaves between a few of the slices; season with salt and pepper.
Roast squash, basting with glaze every 10 minutes or so, until tender and glaze forms a rich brown coating, 45-60 minutes. (Lift off any glaze in the pan that is browning too much.)
Serve, topped with reserved chili slices.
• Honeynut squash looks like a mini butternut. They are usually sweeter than butternut!
• To help with the hasseling, put 2 chopsticks on either side of the squash, to keep your
knife from going through.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.