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This Thanksgiving Should Be Different – But Still Delicious!

This will be a different Thanksgiving for all of us – at least I hope so. It will be smaller, more distant, with lots of Zoom involved. We’ll be showing our love by being physically apart.

But it’s still a holiday! I love Hasselback potatoes, where the potatoes are thinly sliced almost all the way through so as to increase the surface area enhanced flavor and crispness, along with a very showy appearance. Today, I’m offering a somewhat healthier version (although there’s still butter – hey, it’s a holiday!), using butternut squash.

The recipe is closely based on one from Bon Appétit, although I’ve left out the bay leaves, which I will go to my grave insisting are a hoax.

Hasselback Butternut Squash

Ingredients
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • pomegranate seeds (optional)
Preparation
  1. Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°. Halve the squash lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. Using a peeler, remove skin and white flesh until you can see the deep orange flesh. Rub all over with oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast in a baking dish just large enough to hold halves side by side (a 9×12 glass dish ought to work well) for about 15–18 minutes, until soft enough for a paring knife to easily slip in only about ¼ inch.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the maple syrup, sriracha, butter, and vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until just thick enough to coat the spoon, about 6–8 minutes. Reduce heat to very low to keep glaze warm.
  3. Transfer the squash to a cutting board, and let it cool slightly. Using a sharp knife, score the rounded sides of squash halves crosswise, going as deep as possible without cutting all the way through. This is a bit tricky, so take your time!
  4. Return the squash to the baking dish, scored sides up. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast the squash, basting with glaze every 10 minutes or so, until it’s tender and the glaze forms a rich brown coating, about 45–60 minutes. Serve topped with pomegranate seeds if you want an even more spectacular appearance

Note: The squash can be roasted 4 hours ahead. Let cool until just warm; cover and store at room temperature. Reheat before serving.

Have a happy, safe Thanksgiving. We want to make sure that we’re all able to celebrate together in person next year.