It is cold in New York City. Yesterday, we could see snow from our 10th floor office. Even if it melted before it hit the ground, yesterday it was cold enough to snow! With temperatures in the low 40s for days, I've been drinking lots of hot cider, pulling flannel blankets onto the bed, and putting the oven to good use. This time of year, when the sky is grey and the sweaters come out, one of my favorite things to cook and eat are roasted vegetables. The way that squashes and brussels and romanesco and onions caramelize in the oven is, to me, quintessentially autumn.
Last night, I chose butternut squash. I wanted something with a kick to balance out the sweetness, so I whisked up a glaze of chili pepper and lime. The spice is present, but subtle, not overpowering the traditional honeyed notes of the squash, and the sweet browned edges of each bite round out the mild acidity of the lime.
A note on preparation: there is probably an easier way to cut apart the squash than the way I went about it last night. Wanting to roast in cubes, I sawed the whole thing into slices, then cut off the skin, then chopped it into bite-sized chunks. It was tough, even with sharp knives. It would have been simpler had I roasted the squash briefly before cutting it apart, but I was impatient. Proceed however you see fit.
roasted butternut squash with chili lime glaze
1 medium butternut squash, cubed
1/4 c olive oil
juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 dried chili, minced
very small pinch of hot curry powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together olive oil, lime juice and chili. Toss, with squash, in a baking dish until well-coated. Sprinkle with cayenne and curry and toss again. Top with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until tender. Adjust seasonings, and finish with a small drizzle of maple syrup. Serve with wild rice, toasted quinoa, or any protein.