My brother’s name is Josh, and there was an unfortunate period in his life when everyone called him Squash. It happened to coincide with the years he was the puniest, scrawniest pre-teen there ever was. This is no longer the case; he is now strapping and handsome – but I still can’t hear someone talk about Squash without wondering if he’s in the room.
Pepita-Crusted Butternut Squash (PDF)
Recipe 271 of 365
I typically reserve dry rubs for meats and fish (or anything that I want to enrobe in an extra layer of flavor), but here, a mixture of pepita (pumpkin seeds), spices, and brown sugar gives fat slices of squash a little somethin’ somethin’. You could also toss the rub with green beans, or use it to crust halved zucchini, yellow, or delicata squash (as below) before baking.
TIME: 15 minutes
MAKES: 4 servings
1 (2-pound) butternut squash
Olive oil spray
1/4 cup toasted, unsalted pepita (pumpkin seeds – raw will work too)
1 tablespoon (packed) brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Carefully halve the squash lengthwise, through the stem and blossom ends. Scoop out the seeds (this is a good job for your ice cream scoop), and cut each half in half again lengthwise. Place the squash on a parchment- or silicon-covered baking sheet, and spray the cut sides of the squash with the olive oil spray.
Whirl the pepita in a small food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and stir to blend.
Smear the pepita mixture onto all orange surfaces of the squash, and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the squash is soft all the way through. Serve warm.
(Don’t they look like little Indian slippers?)