I used to be a squash hater. I am now reformed. I actually buy squash for myself. And not only that, when I open the refrigerator, looking for something to nosh on, I will reach for the bowl of cold squash...provided it's been properly doctored with lime and Aleppo! I discovered Aleppo about a year ago and I wrote all about it here. I'm now on my second jar. Let me restate that...my second jar of Aleppo spice in a year's time. That's got to be some kind of record! I still have the original little tin of cayenne pepper I got when I was married an eon ago! But Aleppo is much more subtle than cayenne, it adds some heat but it also brightens whatever it lands on...if you haven't jumped on the Aleppo band wagon, what are you waiting for?!?
When my mom reads this she'll probably say to herself, "See, I told you you'd like squash if you tasted it!" It only took decades of an up-turned nose and feigned gagging, but mom was right. I do like squash! Let's compare how most people eat butternut squash...buttered with salt and pepper...yawn...to roasted butternut squash with a spritz of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of Aleppo...it's like comparing a hot-dog to filet mignon!
As a side dish, this is going to enhance whatever you pair it with - might even steal the show! So why not make it the show?! Squash with lime and Aleppo, inside of a flour tortilla with a smattering of cheese and salsa makes a great lunch/dinner - and it's good for you, just ask your mom!
Squash with Lime and Aleppo - Pots and Pins
1 medium butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
juice from one lime
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel squash, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. (To make peeling the squash easier, you can put it in the microwave for about 4 minutes, which will soften the peel just a bit. Cut a piece off the bottom so it's flat and then run your peeler or knifed down the sides.) Cut into bite-size pieces. Put squash on a rimmed baking sheet, pour olive oil over squash and using your hands, toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Put in oven and roast at 400 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until squash is fork tender, but not squashed! Remove from oven and immediately coat with lime juice. Sprinkle Aleppo on top and serve. Makes 4 servings.