Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Superb sweet and sour squash

I have already raved about my love for butternut squash. Jamie's preamble to the squash section of the vegetable chapter emphasizes the health benefits of this wonderfully golden vegetable which has it all: folic acid, energy-enhancing carbs, fibre - and, luckily, flavour. There are three squash side dishes in the book and if I haven't got round to them earlier this can only be because I have had too much to choose from. I had half a squash to use up and wanted fish for dinner, so I went for the recipe that Jamie suggested could be eaten with simple fish or meat amongst a myriad of possibilities (on crostini, with salad, with mozzarella...). Just looking at the ingredient list makes it obvious that it has masses of flavour, so I decided to team it with poached smoked fish and curly kale - I promise I am not paid to promote curly kale, I just bought a huge bunch at the farm shop at the weekend, and I like how it keeps its deep green colour!

This squash dish is pretty easy. I heated olive oil in a casserole type pan and added squash, cut into roughly finger-sized pieces, bashed-up coriander seeds and chilli, sliced red onion and water, and simmered with a lid on for about 10 minutes before removing the lid. When the liquid had cooked off, I added salt and pepper, chopped garlic and thyme, and fried slowly until the vegetables turned lightly golden. At this stage I added raisins, parsley stalks and pinenuts, and fried for a minute before adding balsamic and white wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar. I fried for 3 or 4 more minutes while the sugar glazed and the vinegar cooked away, before stirring through some parsley leaves.

I knew I would like this even before I cooked it, because I love all the ingredients (particularly squash and pinenuts). I did, unsurprisingly, like it a lot. The colours are great and it is an interesting dish, with contrasting flavours and textures, that works fantastically well. I made it as a side dish for poached smoked fish, which worked well - check out the colours on the plate - orange and green - fabby. I think this was probably a pretty healthy dinner, all told - poached fish; vegetables with no hint of fat: an easy and tasty way to feel a bit virtuous.


litlove said...

I find I keep clicking over here now, thinking to myself, 'oooh, I'll just find out what Kathryn had for dinner tonight....' I love the sound of this, but what a shame (for me at least) that it uses sugar! Could I leave it out?

Kathryn said...

Hi Litlove

I am sure you could! I hardly put any sugar in mine (it said a pinch!). If you do that, then use less vinegar, I'd say (i.e. just use a teensy bit).


Anonymous said...

Kathryn, I love squash! I could make this for my husband for thanksgiving! He prefers squash to pumpkin anyway. And it's easier to prepare!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathryn. I plan to try this recipe, as with you I love all the ingredients. However, Jamie says to preheat the oven to 200C although he doesn't seem to use it and nor do you. A typo perhaps?

Confused, Dublin.