A few years ago I got a traffic ticket for running a stop sign. First, I want you to know, I never intentionally run stop signs. I don’t even roll through them. Being a frequent pedestrian, occasional runner, and generally a decent person who does not wish to kill or even frighten others, I do have respect for stop signs. So I was taken completely by surprise one day when, driving through a sleepy residential San Francisco neighborhood with no other humans or cars in sight, I suddenly heard the sickening half-bleat of a pissy police car’s siren right behind me. I don’t doubt that I had driven through the stop. I do doubt that it was clearly visible. Given that I am not a deliberate scofflaw, and this was not a bustling thoroughfare requiring heavy patrolling, and there was apparently a stealth police car waiting right there at the intersection in question…well, I’ve always suspected the cops might have been filling their quotas with the help of an overgrown sign-obscuring tree, or something like that. (It didn’t occur to me to check until later, and I never did go back to do so.) Or maybe I was just driving like a jerk! Who knows.
Anyway, here is where I almost start to get to the point. At around this same time, my dear friend Betsy had had an unpleasant encounter with a left turn lane and she’d gotten a ticket too. So naturally, we both decided to do online traffic school, together, at Betsy’s house, with hors d’oeuvres. I’d never been so excited about punishment! We picked a time, planned our menu, and counted down the days. And thus was born the “Naughty Gourmet Traffic School.” The traffic school part was actually way more challenging and irritating than we had anticipated—but the food was divine!
So today, from the Naughty Gourmet archives, I share with you Betsy’s Spiced Butternut Squash recipe. It pairs perfectly with any kind of online testing. As we all know, peeling, seeding, and cubing butternut squash can be a hassle, so feel free to use pre-cubed squash, like naughty and lazy gourmets do.Print
Peeling, seeding, and cubing butternut squash can be kind of a hassle, so feel free to use pre-cubed squash, like Lazy Gourmets do.
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 cups (about 1½ pounds) peeled and cubed butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Mix cumin, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, and sugar in a small dish.
- In a large bowl, toss squash with the oil and spice mix until coated.
- Arrange squash in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven, stirring once or twice, until squash is tender and starting to brown (40 to 50 minutes).