appetizers & recipes: sweet and sour butternut squash
Butternut Squash is one of those foods that most people will eat if someone else prepares it. They are hard to peel and difficult to cut. However, we’ve noticed that many grocery stores are selling pre-cut pieces of butternut squash in the produce section. This is incredibly convenient because we can now enjoy this wonderful nutty and sweet squash can be enjoyed on a busy evening without much ado.
A mainstay at holiday tables, butternut squash can now adorn your table any day of the week when using this simple recipe and pre-cut squash from your grocers. You will impress your family, friends and guests when you serve sweet and sour butternut squash on Thanksgiving. The sweetness of the squash interacts remarkably well with the vinegar. The hint of cinnamon brings out the natural flavors of the butternut squash in a very subtle way.
The coloring is one of our favorite aspects of this side dish. While creating a beautiful table for Thanksgiving is important, you cannot forget that the star in your tablescape is the food. The colors, textures and, of course, smells will create a beautiful table appearance that will have guests not knowing why they suddenly feel hungry.
This year, when you plan your holiday meals do not forget to think about the colors of the foods on your table. This is equally as important as your table cloth and napkins. When the food is seasonally correct, colorful and smells delicious you are guaranteed a fabulous holiday meal…provided that pesky uncle of yours doesn’t start talking politics. In that case no amount of color coordination and menu planning can rescue your guests.
Did you know? Butternut squash is actually a fruit. It grows on a vine and is beige in color on the outside and a vibrant orange in the inside. Butternut squash is a good source of Vitamin A, C and E. It also contains iron, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. Butternut squash seeds are a good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids that are good for heart health.
Sweet and Sour Butternut Squash: A recipe easy enough for a week night and bold enough for a holiday.
2lb butternut squash, cut into 1-inch slices, skin on, seeds discarded
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2-3 large garlic cloves, sliced thinly
¼ cup sugar
1 pinch cinnamon
Peel the butternut squash and slice open. Remove the seeds and stringy insides. Cut into 1 inch cubes.
Place the oil into a nonstick pan. Heat the oil then add the butternut squash in batches. Cook until soft. Remove each batch as it is cooked, set aside. When all the butternut squash is cooked add the garlic to the remaining oil and cook until just softened. Place the garlic with the butternut squash.
In the same nonstick pan add the vinegar, sugar and cinnamon. Cook until it reduces by half the amount.
Place the butternut squash and garlic into a bowl. Pour the vinegar and sugar sauce over the squash and mix until all the pieces are covered.