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Winter Squash with Spiced Butter


Traditional Thanksgiving flavors (squash, cinnamon, butter) are given a beautiful Persian accent. The exotic spiced butter is also a treat mixed into couscous.

Recipe by Victoria Granof

Photograph by Jeremy Liebman

November 2012

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Rate this recipe 4.3/5 (6 Votes)


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon crushed dried rose petals (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 pounds assorted small winter squash (such as acorn, kabocha, or delicata)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • Ingredient Info.:
  • Dried rose petals are available at Middle Eastern markets and


Servings 8
Adapted from


Step 1

Spiced butter:

Mix all ingredients except salt in a small bowl until lime juice is incorporated. Season with salt. Cover; keep in a cool place.

DO AHEAD; Spiced butter can be made 1 week ahead. Roll into logs, wrap in parchment paper, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.


Trim ends of acorn and kabocha squash and cut in half through the stem end. Scrape out seeds and place squash cut side down on a cutting board (do not peel). Cut halves crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. If using delicate squash, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rings; scrape out seeds.

Fill a large wide pot with water to a depth of 1/2-inch and add a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Add squash slices; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and steam, adding more water as needed to maintain 1/2-inch of water at bottom of pot, until squash is tender but not falling apart, 20-25 minutes.

Carefully transfer squash slices to a large platter (some squash at bottom of pot may be too soft; save for another purpose4) and season with salt.

Reduce water in pot over high heat (or add hot water) to measure 3/4 cup. Remove from heat and whisk in spiced butter, 1 tablespoonful at a time, to form a rich, glossy sauce. Season to taste with salt. Drizzle spiced butter over squash. Top with pomegranate seeds.


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