Hasselback butternut squash, with it’s maple-balsamic glaze is easy to make but very impressive. Perfect for your holiday meal or a weekend roast, this soft roasted butternut is topped with pangrattato and crispy sage leaves.
Preheat to 220C / 425F / 200C fan forced. Line a large baking tray with foil (to make clean up easier).
Cut squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and peel the outside. You can save the seeds for roasting or discard with the peel.
Rub the butternut with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes and the all the pepper.
Roast for 20 minutes then transfer the butternut to a chopping board. Let it cool for 5 minutes while you make the dressing.
For the dressing, melt half the butter (28g / 1oz), then whisk in the maple syrup and balsamic. Set aside.
Place a wooden spoon or chopsticks along each long side of the butternut, then make cuts close together only as low as the chopsticks so you don't cut all the way through.
Use a fish slice or large flat spatula to help you transfer the butternut back onto the baking tray, hasselback side up. Brush with half the butter mixture, slowly so some of it seeps down into the slices. Roast for 20 minutes.
Brush the remaining butter mixture over the butternut halves, drizzle 1 tablespoon of water around the pan, then place back in the oven for a further 20 minutes.
TO MAKE THE PANGRATTATO
Add the remaining oil (1 ½ tablespoons) to a frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the breadcrumbs and remaining sea salt (½ teaspoon) and fry stirring often, until turning golden (3-4 minutes).
Add the thyme leaves and garlic and fry for a further 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the pan.
TO MAKE THE FRIED BUTTER SAGE
In the same pan over medium heat, melt the remaining butter (28g / 1oz). Add the sage leaves and let it cook and foam, stirring and turning the sage from time to time, until the butter turns amber / brown in colour and the sage is crispy. If you're using a dark pan, just scoop a little of the butter onto a white plate so you can see the colour. Set the butter and sage aside.
Transfer the butternut halves to a serving platter. Drizzle over the juices from the pan and sage butter and then scatter on the pangrattato.
This recipe is easy to scale up. You can double or even triple depending on the number of people you're feeding.
Leftovers (lucky you) are lovely in sandwiches or warmed up again. You can also turn it into butternut soup.