Monday, December 04, 2017

Caponata with a Twist: Winter Squash!

'Tis the season for all kinds of squash-y deliciousness, and contributor Jim Dixon of Real Good Food has a great idea for a vegetarian main dish.

Using winter squash instead of eggplant for this Sicilian classic wasn't my idea, but it's a really good one. I've written before about my preference for the big, pumpkin-y Cucurbit varieties, and since they provide a lot of squash to eat, I'm always looking for another way to use them. But you can make this with any good winter squash. You'll want about three cups of cut up squash.

Cut the squash into roughly 3/4-inch chunks (if you have any leftover roasted squash, cut it into bite-sized pieces and add after cooking the other vegetables). Toss it into a skillet slicked with extra virgin olive oil and cook over medium heat. Chop and toss in a red onion, a couple of celery stalks, 2-3 cloves of garlic, a good handful of green olives, and a couple of tablespoons of whole capers. Add a good pinch of salt, too.

When the squash is tender (maybe 15 minutes), add a splash (2 tablespoons or so) of Katz Trio red wine vinegar, a healthy squirt of Three Brothers cane syrup (or a couple of tablespoons of sugar or honey), and about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Cook for another 5 minutes to let the flavors blend, then sprinkle with a few pinches of oregano. Drizzle with more extra virgin on the plate.

You can eat this warm as vegetable side, but I like it best at room temperature with good bread.

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