• Yield: Serves 4

  • Time: 10 minutes prep, 30 minutes cooking, 40 minutes total

When roasted, the flesh of winter squashes such as butternut, acorn, and kabocha becomes creamy and dense and caramelizes on the cut surfaces. Although the squash is delicious seasoned with only salt and pepper, I like to rub the slices with this Tunisian-inspired spice mix.


  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • A pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 2 1/2-pound winter squash, such as kabocha

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon each ground coriander and sweet paprika, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

3. Cut off the ends of a 2 1/2-pound winter squash, such as kabocha; cut in half and scoop out the seeds; cut each half into 6 slices about 2 inches thick.

4. Using a lightly dampened brush, brush the flesh with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with 4 teaspoons of the spice mix (or simply with salt and pepper).

5. Arrange cut side down on a heavy baking sheet.

6. Bake, turning once, for 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender and golden.

Excerpted from A New Way To Cook by Sally Schneider (Artisan, 2001). © 2001 by Sally Schneider.

Sally Schneider
A former chef, Sally Schneider has won numerous awards—including four James Beard awards—for her books and magazine writing. She is creator of the lifestyle blog Improvised Life, a featured blogger on The Atlantic Monthly's Food Blog, and author of The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook. She has served as a contributing editor to both Saveur and Food & Wine, and her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Saveur, Food & Wine, SELF and Connoisseur.