We’ve sung the praises of winter squash time and time again, so why are we still giving it the standard cubed-and-roasted treatment? It’s not bad, but it could be so much better. Enter this recipe for Hasselback honey-glazed squash with pistachios and chiles. It’s sweet, spicy and anything but boring.
A note on the “Hasselbacking” technique: You don’t want to slice all the way through the squash halves, so having a guide will be helpful. We like to arrange a chopstick lengthwise on either side of the squash to stop the knife from cutting to the bottom; skewers or even butter knives would work too. And if you’re *so over* butternut, try another squash: Delicata would be delightful (no peeling!), or if you can find the cute but elusive Honeynut, by all means, switch it up.
2 medium butternut squash—peeled, halved lengthwise and seeded
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup honey
1 Fresno pepper (or other hot pepper), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
⅓ cup pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
Fresh chopped parsley, to garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Arrange the squash cut-side-down in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or on an unlined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer to the oven and bake until just barely tender, 17 to 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the honey, half of the pepper and the butter. Bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat and whisk in the vinegar.
4. Cool the squash until it’s easy to handle, about 5 minutes. Working one piece at a time, transfer the squash to a cutting board and arrange a chopstick or skewer lengthwise on either side. (This will help guide your cuts.) Using a sharp kitchen knife, make slices in the squash about ⅛ inch apart. Return the squash to the baking dish, flat-side-down. If you need to cut the halves into smaller pieces to fit, that’s OK.
5. Using a pastry brush, brush the squash all over with the honey mixture. Return the squash to the oven and bake until very tender and caramelized, 30 to 40 minutes. For a crispier, deeply browned top, broil the squash for about 5 minutes.
6. Top with the toasted pistachios and sprinkle generously with flaky salt. Garnish with parsley, if desired.