Maple Miso Honeynut Squash (Hasselback Style)

So, I have a confession to make.

This recipe was totally supposed to be posted BEFORE Thanksgiving but, well, life got in the way a bit. It's so simple and delicious, however, I didn't want you to miss out!

I'm sure by now you may be a little tired of orange foods from the holiday last week, but I promise you this honeynut squash recipe is worth it. Plus, you can make it really with any squash variety you like so don't worry if you are having a hard time finding honeynut squash at the markets now. 

And on that note, let's actually talk a second about honeynut squash which is a new variety of winter squash. They were created by Cornell University Associate Professor Michael Mazourek who eventually linked up with Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill who found that roasting these baby butternut squashes significantly deepened their flavor. It is believed that these tiny squashes are packed with more nutrients as their diminutive size means the nutrients are more condensed. If you are wondering about the flavor, think of them as a sweeter, more caramel tasting butternut squash. Since they are so closely related, you can also use a butternut squash in this recipe but be sure to peel the skin off first. While the skin of the honeynut squash can be eaten once roasted, you won't want to do the same with a butternut squash.

Sweet and salty, these Maple Miso Honeynut Squash are adorable and delicious.

Sweet and salty, these Maple Miso Honeynut Squash are adorable and delicious.

Maple and miso are such a wonderful flavor combination as you get the saltiness of the miso and sweetness of the maple in every bite. In this recipe, roasting the squash in the maple miso mixture also means that a delicious sort of crust of caramelized miso appears on the bottom of the squash which is a perfect compliment to it's natural flavors. 

So even with Thanksgiving being over, you can enjoy a little more orange on your plate with this super simple recipe.

MAPLE MISO HONEYNUT SQUASH (HASSELBACK STYLE)

Serves: 3-4

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients: 

2 honeynut squashes (or 1 small, peeled butternut squash), halved with seeds removed

4 tablespoons maple syrup

4 tablespoons light or yellow miso 

2 tablespoons light oil (such as avocado oil or olive oil)

1 tablespoon warm water

Chopped herbs (such as chives), optional

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, miso, oil and warm water. Stir until miso is dissolved and mixture is smooth and pourable but not too thin.

3. Make small 1/8 inch thick slits along the length of each honeynut or butternut squash half potato but only cutting about two thirds of the way through. To make this easier, place two chopsticks on either side of the squash so that you do not slice through (see photo in this post)*. 

4. Place squash halves on the baking tray, cut side down. Pour the maple miso mixture over the squashes, being sure to get the mixture into each of the slits. 

5. Bake the squash for 35-40 minutes or until tender. If you would like, you can also broil the squash under the broiler for 2-3 minutes on low in order to get a crunchier top.

6. Garnish with herbs if using and serve warm. 

* Alternatively, you can just slice the squash all of the way through, coat in the maple miso mixture and roast in a single layer on the baking tray. 

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