Fall Temperatures Set In, Call for Roasted Acorn Squash with Jalapeno Lime Butter

'Fancy kitchens don't mean better cooking or better food' is Number 3 of Keeper's Manifesto in Keepers Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen (Rodale, August 2013) by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion...

Their pick of recipes spells-smells like home comfort.

As Fall temperatures set in, dropping to mid-50's high in past couple of days, it is definitely squash time.



Never know what to do with acorn squash? Halve a couple, season the cut sides, and throw them in a 400°F oven. About 40 minutes later, the golden flesh is soft, sweet, slightly caramelized, and ready to eat. We like it just fine with a big pat of butter (and another generous sprinkle of salt and pepper), but it’s awfully good with this jalapeño-lime butter, too. 

Like most compound butters--which are ideal for adding lots of flavor with minimal effort--it will keep well in the freezer for about 2 months so long as it’s tightly covered, so we usually make a quadruple batch and portion it into small ramekins or plastic containers. (You can also roll up the butter in parchment paper logs; this yields nice slices later, but we find the process a little fussy.) Use it wherever you want a spicy, citrusy, buttery touch. 

2 small acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise and seeded

Olive oil for coating the squash

Salt and pepper 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 

1 garlic clove, minced 

1 to 2 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped jalapeño 

Grated zest of 1 lime 

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 

1 teaspoon honey 

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 


--Preheat the oven to 400°F, with a rack in the middle position. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil for easier cleanup, if you like.

-- Lightly coat the cut sides of the squash with oil, then season with salt and pepper. Put the squash cut-side down on the pan and roast until just tender, about 40 minutes. 

-- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the butter, garlic, jalapeños (to taste), lime zest and juice, honey, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Check the seasonings. 

-- Transfer the squash to plates, cut-side up, smear each half with some of the jalapeño-lime butter, and serve.

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from Keepers 'Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen' by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion- Rodale, August 2013- Photo Christopher Testani)

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