A compound butter made with traditional Middle Eastern spices adds warmth to grilled acorn squash, which are cooked on a stovetop grill pan in this easy recipe. Toasted hazelnuts lend texture and heartiness to create a perfect comfort-food dish for winter. Serve with a hearty farro or wild rice salad and a loaf of crusty bread for a satisfying meatless supper.
Grilled Winter Squash with Spiced Butter and Hazelnuts
8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tbs. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 acorn squashes, each about 1 1/2 lb. (750 g)
Olive oil for brushing
1/4 cup (1 1/4 oz./40 g) hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
In a food processor, combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. salt, the coriander, cardamom, nutmeg and lemon juice. Pulse until well blended. Transfer the butter to a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a log and enclose in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Trim the ends off the squash, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half lengthwise into slices about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Place the slices on a baking sheet, brush both sides with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place the squash slices on the pan and cook, turning once, until tender and slightly charred, 5 to 7 minutes per side.
Transfer the squashes to a platter. Cut the spiced butter into slices and place on the warm squash to melt. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serves 4 to 6.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen