Though normally applied to potatoes, the Hasselback method—that is, thinly slicing an ingredient crosswise almost all the way through, then roasting it until it resembles a gratin flipped on its side—has been applied to various fruits and proteins (even s'mores!) over the years. Here, we apply it to large butternut squash, brushed with a lightning-quick glaze made from apple butter, to make a centerpiece-worthy side that’s also great for seasoning your Field Skillet.
This recipe was developed specifically for a No.12 Field Skillet, but you can adapt it to smaller pans by using smaller butternut squash or half of a larger one.
If you don’t live where apple butter is a cold-season pantry staple (which is anywhere apples abundantly grow), you can usually find it at the grocery store, online, or make your own.
Recipe: Hasselback Squash with Apple Butter Glaze
1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
¼ cup vegetable or other neutral oil
¼ cup apple butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon maple syrup
12 large sage leaves
The Field Method for Cast Iron Care
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds. Peel the squash.
Set the squash halves inside a No.12 Field Skillet and rub all over with the vegetable oil (use all the oil; the excess that drips off will help season your skillet). Arrange the squash, cut side down, in the pan and season the top generously with salt.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the squash until it’s slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the squash to a cutting board. Let cool slightly, then slice the squash crosswise, spacing the cuts about ⅛ inch apart and stopping about ¼ inch from the bottom (it helps to place a couple of chopsticks or pencils alongside the squash to prevent you from cutting all the way through).
In a small bowl, stir together the apple butter, 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and maple syrup. Smear the apple butter mixture all over the top of the squash. Arrange the sage leaves on top and brush with the remaining tablespoon of melted butter.
Using two spatulas, return the squash to the skillet, cut side down. Roast until the squash is very tender and browned all over, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve immediately, or let cool to room temperature and reheat in a 300°F oven.
Seasoning Rating: Better
We use a generous amount of oil to roast the squash, and its lengthy cooking time means your skillet will develop some seasoning as it bakes.
Best—These dishes are the best options for building resilient seasoning, and surefire choices for getting tricky pans back on track.
Better—The best way to keep your skillet in great shape is to cook frequently, and cast iron-friendly dishes like these are your bread and butter.
Safe—These recipes won't strip seasoning away from your pan, but won't really add any, either.
OK—Be sure to clean up promptly. Recipes with this rating might feature acidic ingredients which can affect seasoning if not washed soon after cooking.