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Winter Squash Braised in Cider

November 22, 2010 | Tags: Deborah Madison , Food , Vegetables | Post comment

Winter Squash Braised in Cider

Certainly families differ in their holiday traditions, but I come from one that always had both sweet potatoes (usually very candied) and winter squash on the table.  I’ve finally let those gooey but good sweet potatoes go, but squash is always present in one form or another.  In this recipe cubes of butternut squash—the easiest-to-peel winter squash—are braised in cider and finished with a tad of vinegar, which gives the dish a subtle tang. And as the juice reduces, it makes a syrupy, buttery glaze, yet uses only 1 tablespoon of butter.  This is appropriate at a big holiday meal where its sweet bite nicely offsets the plethora of other dishes. It’s easily put together and can be served hot or warm and is easily reheated. It also helps that you can buy squash that’s already peeled and cubed if you don’t have time to peel your own.  But don’t leave this just for Thanksgiving. It’s good any day of squash season.

Ingredients:

1 straight end of a butternut squash, weighing about 2 pounds
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
2 cups unfiltered apple or pear cider
½ teaspoon sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon apple-balsamic, balsamic, or organic apple cider vinegar, to taste

Preparation:

1.  Peel the squash, then dice it into 1/2-inch chunks. If using Delicata remove the seeds with a long spoon, then slice it into ½-inch rounds.

2. Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet and add the rosemary.  Cook over medium heat for a few minutes to flavor the butter, then add the squash and juice plus water or extra juice just to cover, if needed.  Bring to a boil, add 1/2-teaspoon salt, and simmer until the squash is tender, by which time the juice will have reduced enough to provide a glaze. If not, raise the heat to quickly reduce it. Sprinkle over 1-teaspoon vinegar, then taste.  Add additional vinegar if needed to balance the sweetness, then season with pepper and serve.

Serves 6

Adapted from Local Flavors, Cooking and Eating From America’s Farmers Markets
by Deborah Madison, 2008.