Cider-Braised Squash

dsc_1518RECIPE #337, DAY #522

FOUR STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Winter Squash Braised in Pear or Apple Cider” from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors*

TIMING: 45 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Easy

TOOLS: A wide, deep skillet and a good peeler and knife for breaking down squash

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: This is a nice vegetable side dish for the fall and even winter. It’s mostly veggie with some fruit juice.

EXPERIENCE: This was my squash dish for Thanksgiving this year. I had some leeway because squash never seems to be anyone’s favorite dish, but I really love to have it there. I chose this recipe in order to have at least one dish with less dairy and fat and a little more natural sweetness. Our newest Thanksgiving guest (my brother’s girlfriend) raved about it, so I was glad I went with it.

NOTES: Breaking down squash is a real pain, which is why many people just cut them in half, roast them in the oven, and then mash them and call it a day. But squash is such a great vegetable, I don’t want to limit it only to mashed forever and ever. Sometimes–as here–I bite the bullet and peel and cut a squash while raw. It does take time and patience, and a good, sharp knife and peeler are important.

***

  1. Peel, cut in half, and seed a 2 pound butternut squash. Dice into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a deep, wide skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons minced rosemary and cook for 3 minutes, until butter is golden brown.
  3. Add the squash, 2 cups apple cider, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes until squash is tender.
  4. If there is still liquid left, increase heat and cook until liquid has formed a glaze. Check for salt and pepper and serve.

***

Serve with a holiday meal or just about any fall or winter dinner. Accompanies pork especially nicely.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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