Author Notes: Come autumn, we like this with pork shoulder braised with herbs and onions – or any roast, for that matter -- and a variety of homemade pickles on the side. Yes, you could put the chunks of squash on a baking pan in the oven to roast, but pan searing ensures rich caramelization, leaving juices with which to make this easy sweet and sour sauce. If you don’t have dried cherries, cranberries work just as well. Enjoy!! ;o) - AntoniaJames
- 1 ½ pounds (about 5 cups), after trimming, of butternut squash, cut into 1” chunks
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
- ¼ cup dried tart cherries
- ¼ cup red verjus
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more for the table
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Freshly ground pepper
- In a very large skillet (I always use a non-stick skillet, because it’s the largest I have), heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the squash cubes and sprinkle generously with salt. Cook over medium high heat for three minutes. Do not touch, at all. (The chunks won’t get those nice brown surfaces if you mess with them.)
- While the squash is cooking, gently warm the cherries in the verjus, just to plump them up a bit.
- After three minutes, flip the squash chunks over . Again, let them be. Cook for two minutes; then, turn the heat down to low and cover the skillet. Allow to cook for another two minutes. Test a chunk with a thin bladed knife to confirm that it’s tender, but still firm. (It it isn’t, continue to cook over low heat, covered, for another minute or two.)
- Raise the heat up to medium and add the cherries, verjus, vinegar and a touch more salt. Stir very gently as the sauce reduces, for about a minute or two.
- Add the butter; once it melts, give the squash a gentle stir to coat. Test for salt and correct, if necessary.
- Grind over some black pepper. Serve with extra red wine vinegar on the table.
- Enjoy!! ;o)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Most Impressive Dinner Party Side