Spiced Autumn Squash

2 autumn squashes, about 4” in diameter, or smaller (Gold Nugget, Acorn, Sweet Pumpkin, etc.), washed and cut in half horizontally
kosher salt
plastic wrap
4 T. softened butter
zest of 1 small orange
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 T. raw sugar or 1 T. brown sugar
Garnish: ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Remove the seeds from cut squashes, and place cut halves on work surface, cut side up. Remove a section from the bottom of each squash so they can stand upright. Place about 2 T. water and 1 tsp. salt in each squash, cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave on high power for 10 minutes or until softened to the touch. (Times might vary according to thickness of squash “meat” and skin.

While squash are cooking, combine the butter, orange zest, spices, and sugar in small bowl until well blended.

Preheat broiler. Remove the squash from microwave, drain off any excess water in the squash, and place on work surface cut side up. Place 1 tablespoon spiced butter in each squash. (This can be done an hour or so before serving, then reheat squash in 375o oven for 10 minutes before placing under broiler). Place squash on baking sheet, place under broiler for 2 minutes until butter is melted and bubbly. Serve at once with toasted pumpkin seeds on top, if desired. Serves 4.

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