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Author Notes: Rosh Hashanah means sweet roasted butternut squash to me. To celebrate the first of the winter squash that arrived at the farmers market, and to mark the holiday, I added the heat of jalapeños to a traditional recipe we share with friends every Jewish New Year. - Bevi
Food52 Review: Lightly crunched tops of roasting butternut squash, emitting an incredible aroma throughout the kitchen, make a perfect side on their own; however, this recipe tops off with a jalapeño poaching liquid simmered down to a syrup, making a spicy-sweet, soft-crunchy side, with little bits of the candied jalapeño sprinkled throughout. The poaching liquid is so simple and delicious, I found it works nicely with a number of recipes; a wonderful staple to have on hand. - lapadia
Makes 4 portions
For the Candied Jalapeño Peppers
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large jalapeño pepper, cut in half
- 1 dried guajillo pepper, cut in half
- Place the sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir over heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the jalapeño and guajillo peppers, seeds and all, and simmer the mixture until it becomes unctuous and is reduced to about 4 tablespoons of syrup. Set aside to cool.
For the Roasted Squash and Assembly
- 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and chopped into approx. 2" chunks
- 1 1/2 tablespoons hot pepper oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Zest of one lime
- Juice of one lime
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the chopped squash, the hot pepper oil, and the salt and pepper on a half sheet pan and toss throughly so the squash is oiled and seasoned. Place in the oven on the middle rack.
- After 15 minutes, flip the squash with a spatula. Continue to roast.
- In the meantime, remove the jalapeño and guajillo peppers from the syrup. Deseed both peppers. Chop about one quarter of the guajillo pepper into small dice. Dice the entire jalapeño pepper and set aside.
- Flip the squash after it has roasted another 15 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Remove the half sheet pan from the oven and set the pan on a counter. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the jalapeño syrup over the squash and toss so the syrup coats all the squash. Return the squash to the oven.
- Allow the squash to roast for another half hour, turning with a spatula as needed - until it is partially crisp and browned. Remove from the oven.
- Sprinkle the squash with the diced jalapeño pepper, the diced guajillo pepper, the lime zest, and the lime juice. Toss throughly, place in a serving bowl, and serve either warm or at room temperature.