Recipe by Jordana Hirschel

Baked Butternut Squash with Onion Caramel

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Dairy Dairy
Easy Easy
4 Servings


- Dairy

Original recipe: Pages 54–55 / The Chef’s Garden by Farmer Lee Jones 

Kosher issue: Meat and dairy 

Recipe adapted by: Chef Jordana Hirschel 


This recipe called for Cornish hens glazed with a buttery onion caramel. After speaking with Chef Jamie Simpson, I learned that the focus of the dish was not chicken itself, but the onion caramel. In keeping with this highlight, I have chosen to use a butternut squash in place of the hen — the results were fabulous. 


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Special Equipment

  • juicer

  • fine-mesh strainer

  • thermometer

Baked Butternut Squash

  • 1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise 

  • 1/4 cup Onion Caramel (recipe follows) 

Onion Caramel

  • 2 and 1/2 pounds (1.1 kilograms) sweet onions, coarsely chopped 

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar 

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 110 grams) unsalted butter, diced


Prepare the Baked Butternut Squash


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill a large roasting pan with 1/2 inch of water.


Place squash, cut side down, into the roasting pan. Cover tightly and cook until fork tender, about one and a half hours. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack. While still warm, remove seeds and peel. Alternatively, peel butternut squash before roasting.


Turn the broiler to high and set an oven rack closest to the heat source. Brush squash with onion caramel (recipe follows) and broil until golden, about two minutes. Brush again with onion caramel and continue to broil until just beginning to char. Lightly season with salt before serving.

Prepare the Onion Caramel


Using a juicer, juice the onions, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Alternatively, purée onions in a blender or food processor and force the purée through a strainer. You should have about one and a half cups of juice, but it’s okay if there’s more because the liquid will evaporate.


Transfer juice to a two-quart saucepan and have a thermometer on hand. Add sugar and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Simmer, stirring, until temperature reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit, then remove from heat and let rest for one minute.


Add butter, one piece at a time, whisking until it’s incorporated before adding the next cube. Slowly whisk in cream and salt until fully incorporated. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.


Recipe excerpted from Adamah Treasures, a companion to The Chef’s Garden (Avery, April 2021).   Photography by Schneur Menaker

Baked Butternut Squash with Onion Caramel

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