Whoever came up with the concept of hasselback squash is a genius.
I mean… hasselback apples and potatoes have been a thing, and are seriously… a thing. The slits cut along the body of the fruit/veggie allow for butter, oil, spices, herbs to be absorbed as it roasts, so every morsel has intense flavor. There is also a ton of caramelization going on because of the endless edges. It just makes perfect sense, and is the right thing to do. Like I said… genius.
And then I heard about hasselback squash, and – you know how much I love butternut squash (think Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese). So I had to jump right in and create Hasselback Butternut Squash + Cinnamon Butter (cinnamon butter, you’ve always been my hero).
If you’ve never hasselback-ed produce before, it’s super simple. It just takes a little chopping, then you slather it in some fat, throw some spices on it, roast it up, and voila: hasselback success. In this case, we have butter, cinnamon, vanilla extract (from our friends at Frontier Co-op) and a pinch of salt. Plus, we toast the seeds with more cinnamon and throw em on top. It’s all about the crunch. Also, I don’t know why I said ‘we’, because this squash is all mine.
So essentially, just 5 ingredients will give you the most amazing side dish of life. Actually, you won’t even need a main dish because this squash will be the only thing you crave from now until forever.
It’s that good.
What else can I hasselback?
- 1 medium butternut or honeynut squash
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter, divided
- Pinch coarse salt
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
- ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract*
- Seeds from squash
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- Pinch coarse salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel butternut squash using a vegetable peeler, then slice in half lengthwise. Scoop seeds from squash using a spoon or melon baller. Reserve seeds.
- Place squash on a cutting board, outside facing up, with a straw or chopstick on either side of the squash. Cut slices into the squash, about ¼ inch apart, all the way across the squash. Repeat with other half of the squash. Place squash halves on a baking sheet.
- Brush 1 tablespoon butter on both halves of the squash. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake 15 minutes, until squash is slightly soft. Whisk 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Brush mixture over the squash. Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, until cooked through.
- In the meantime, rinse squash seeds with water and remove any flesh pieces. Dry seeds using a kitchen or paper towel. Heat olive oil in a small skillet. Add squash seeds and sprinkle with cinnamon and salt. Toast seeds, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Serve Hasselback squash with toasted seeds.
- *Pure vanilla extract is made by steeping vanilla beans in alcohol.