Orange juice intensifies the natural sweetness of the squash as it roasts, while the red chili flakes balance it out with a bit of spice.
When at all possible, use fresh-squeezed orange juice. There is no comparison in taste with the juice that comes straight from the orange to that poured from a carton. Juice companies remove the oxygen (and therefor some of the natural flavors) during their processing to increase shelf life.
Lay the pieces out in a single layer, and scrape any butter mixture from the bowl and spread over the pieces. You don't want to waste any of that tasty flavor!
|Spicy Sesame Butternut Squash|
- ½ cup butter or margarine, melted
- ⅔ cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 1-2 tsp dried red chili flakes
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into ½” slices
- 2 Tbsp - ¼ cup sesame seeds, to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl whisk together the first 6 ingredients, then add in the squash.
- Toss well to fully coat (as you’re tossing, the melted butter should harden slightly and stick nicely to the squash).
- Place pieces in a single layer on 2 foil lined baking sheets. Scrape any butter mixture from bowl onto pieces, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, and half of the sesame seeds.
- Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, remove from oven and flip each piece over. Sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds then continue baking until soft, about 10-15 more minutes. Broil for the last 5 minutes to get a golden caramelized finish.