In response to listener Jane Coombs question, “What is an interesting thing to do with butternut squash?”, I offer up this recipe. Zucca Agrodolce is part of the Italian pantheon of Sweet-Sour antipasti dishes. The squash is sauteed then marinated in lightly sweetened red wine vinegar with a touch of garlic and mint. Extremely good and very pretty. Recipe follows after the jump.
Zucca Agrodolce – Sweet-Sour Squash
1 pound butternut squash, peeled
Olive oil for frying
¾ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup tightly packed fresh spearmint leaves
1-3 tablespoons sugar, to taste
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Salt to taste
Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler.
Cut the squash lengthwise in half and then crosswise into ¼ inch thick slices. Pour oil into a heavy skillet to a depth of ¼ inch slices. Heat the oil over moderate heat, carefully slide the squash slices into the oil and cook until golden brown and tender, turning as necessary. As the slices brown remove them with tongs or a fork to a serving platter or a shallow glass or enamel baking dish.
When all the squash is cooked turn off the heat and remove any burned bits from the pan. Add the vinegar, mint leaves, garlic and sugar to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil over moderate heat. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Lower the heat and summer until the vinegar reduces, the sugar melts and the “sauce” achieves a slightly syrupy consistency. Pour the hot liquid over the cooked squash. Serve at room temperature the same day or refrigerate for up to 5 days.