This dish contains only two ingredients and it exemplifies the essence of goodness, pure and simple. It’s naturally fat-free, loaded with vitamins A and C, and will please everyone.
2 medium local butternut squash
½cuppure maple syrup
Center the oven racks. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
While carefully holding the squash secure on its side, and using a heavy, sharp knife, carefully trim off the top (stem part). This will make cutting it in half easier. Stand the squash upright, placing the knife on top of the center of the squash. Carefully using one hand to hold the knife handle and the other hand on top of the end, close to but not on the tip, push through the squash, cutting it in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and the fibrous part of the cavity.
Arrange the squash halves cut side up in a large, 2-inch-deep glass baking dish. Pour about 1½tablespoons of the maple syrup into the cavity and about ½tablespoon of the syrup over the entire top of each squash half. Pour hot water into the baking dish, around (not over) the squash, to a depth of about ½inch. Tightly cover the pan with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until the flesh and the skin of the squash are tender-soft when tested with a fork. Using a spoon, carefully “bathe” the top of each squash half with the syrup from the cavity, leaving very little syrup remaining in each cavity. Transfer the squash halves to a platter. Cut each half in half lengthwise and serve warm or at room temperature.