The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Marinated Butternut Squash

December 9, 2011

It’s always difficult to figure out what to do with squash. While it is severely underrated it’s also difficult to cook. Without a proper knife, you could lose a finger and that is dangerous cooking.

I finally have my knife situation under control. Two good knife indulgences plus a knife sharpener from my father has kept me amused as well as keeping all severing objects in tip top shape. I don’t dare use them anymore after a manicure.

With that being said, I have been attempting to cook with squash a bit more. It’s healthy, doesn’t need much seasoning and cooks reasonably fast when chopped up. What more do you need?

I’ve found lots of great recipes from food52 – two of my favorites being Caramelized Butternut Squash Wedges with a Sage Hazelnut Pesto and Quiona with Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seeds.

A new one to the roster is marinated winter squash from Lidia Bastianich out of Lidia’s Italy. Lidia B was at Eataly last Friday signing books so I went over with P. I wasn’t really expecting to purchase a book but of course I did, spending way too much on books that I could have gotten on Amazon for 25% off.

Anyways, it was a treat to meet her and tell her about how awesome our homemade pasta was and how it was all because of her. It’s because of that Pasta and P’s love for her that I’ve hopped on the Lidia bandwagon. And with that I bring you the easiest squash recipe ever. It is highly recommended that you make at least one day ahead of time for a flavor punch. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt or more to taste
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
A butternut squash, about 2 pounds
1 cup vegetable oil or as needed
8-10 fresh basil leaves

Recommended equipment:

A heavy-bottomed skillet or sauté pan, 12-inches diameter or larger
A 6-cup glass or ceramic casserole dish, preferably about 6-inches wide, to marinate the squash in several layers

Directions

Mix the vinegar, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt together in a small saucepan. Over high heat, reduce by half. Remove from the heat, drop in the garlic slices and let the marinade cool. Stir in the olive oil.

Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out all the seeds. Peel the halves, place cut-side down and cut crosswise, into 1/3-inch thick half rounds.
Pour vegetable oil into the skillet to the depth of 1/8-inch and set over medium-high heat. When the oil sizzles on contact with squash, fill the pan with a layer of slices, spaced slightly apart. Fry for about 3 minutes on the first side then flip the slices over. Fry on the second side another 2 or 3 minutes until the slices are cooked through (easy to pierce with the tines of a fork), crisped on the surface and caramelized on the edges.

Lift out the slices with a slotted spoon, draining off oil, and lay them on paper towels. Sprinkle salt lightly on the hot slices. Fry up all the squash, in batches, the same way.
Arrange a single layer of fried squash in the bottom of the marinating dish and scatter 4 or 5 basil leaves on top. Stir up the marinade and drizzle over a couple of spoonfuls. Scatter some of the garlic slices on the squash too. Layer all the squash in the dish this way, topping each layer of fried slices with basil leaves, garlic and marinade. All the seasonings should be used—drizzle any remaining marinade over the top layer of squash.

Wrap the dish in plastic and marinate the squash for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight in the refrigerator. If chilled, let the squash return to room temperature before serving.

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