1 ea. small sized butternut squash, scrubbed, peeled & seeded
1 T melted butter
2 T whole milk or cream
½ C whole wheat panko bread crumbs
¼ C grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1 T fresh thyme, minced
1 t fresh rosemary, minced
2 T VERY cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Generous salt and freshly ground black pepper
Special equipment; 2 12” chopsticks
Prepare bread crumb topping: combine whole wheat bread crumbs, minced herbs, garlic cloves nutmeg, parmesan, and butter cubes in the bowl of a food processor. Process crumbs in quick pulses to a cornmeal-like consistency. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Prepare butternut squash: Peel the squash using a vegetable peeler. Cut the squash in half vertically, scoop out the seeds, place face down in a zip lock style freezer bag., Add 3 T water and seal bag leaving 1” of zip lock unsealed. Microwave on high until squash is only slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Let steam in bag for an additional 1 minute. *Take care when removing the bag from the microwave. Hot water and steam may escape and could potentially burn you.
Remove squash from bag and place cut side up until cool enough to handle.
Place squash half, cut-side down, on cutting board. Place chopsticks parallel to the squash on either side. This will prevent your knife from cutting all the way through the squash. Thinly slice crosswise in 1/8” slices taking care not to cut all the way through. After slicing, place the squash halves cut side down on a parchment lined sheet pan. *Video prep https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ELUvRNjPAs
Combine melted butter and milk and drizzle over squash taking care to get some of the liquid down between the slices. Liberally salt and pepper squash before stuffing the with the prepared crumb mixture. Make sure to get the crumb mixture between the layers. Press remaining crumbs on top. Place prepared squash in oven and bake until fork tender, about 15-18 minutes. Watch that the topping is not browning too much. If it is, tent lightly with aluminum foil to finish the baking.
Serves 2 generously or 4 as a side dish