Make Ahead

Finger Lakes Fall Relish: Butternut Squash “Duet” with Black Garlic

October 25, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 2 cups
Author Notes

I developed this versatile, quick-to-fix condiment to feature a sustainable, innovative ingredient: roasted butternut squash seed oil, created collaboratively two years ago by Cornell University and a nearby squash farmer who sought a use for hundreds of pounds of seeds he previously discarded when prepping squash for upstate New York supermarkets.
Since this artisanal oil first was marketed, I have enjoyed using it as a drizzle on butternut squash soup, squash puree, etc. This relish is definitely my new favorite use, with its earthy, nutty, and nuanced flavors accenting entrees (think lamb, pork tenderloin, duck breasts), salads and crostini.
Salad and Crostini Variations:
For salad, top lightly dressed arugula greens with squash relish.
For appetizer crostini, spread wholegrain baguette toasts with chevre or other spreadable cheese (preferably artisanal New York); top with Squash “Duet.” Garnish with snipped chives. Optional: serve with a tablespoon of additional butternut squash seed oil in a petite pitcher (with an eyedropper or tiny spoon) to top each crostini with a couple more drops of butternut squash seed oil.
My creation is a ‘distant-cousin, twice-removed’ of Michele Scicolone’s Roasted Sweet and Sour Winter Squash (marinated with red wine vinegar and fresh mint) that I’ve been making for nearly twenty years.

What You'll Need
  • 3 black garlic cloves
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash, ½-inch dice
  • ½ teaspoon smoked salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed mace blades
  • 2 tablespoons buckwheat honey, preferably New York State
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar (4.5 percent acidity)
  • 2 tablespoons Finger Lakes Butternut Squash Seed Oil*
  • ½ teaspoon or more sriracha hot sauce
  • 2-3 large arugula leaves, cut crosswise into thin ribbon chiffonade (optional)
  1. Peel black garlic cloves. If garlic is too moist or sticky to slice easily, wrap in foil or plastic wrap and place in freezer for a few minutes. Mince garlic into 1/8-inch pieces.
  2. Use your choice of microwave or stovetop to steam squash with 2 tablespoons water until tender-crisp, but not soft. (Depending upon specific microwave power settings, time on High setting may range from 2 to 3 minutes). Drain and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In bowl, gently combine squash, garlic, salt, pepper and mace.
  4. Whisk together honey and vinegar. Gradually add oil. It is not essential for this to become emulsified. Add to squash and mix gently.
  5. Stir in sriracha according to your preference. Best if flavors meld for at least one hour before serving. If made further in advance, refrigerate but bring to room temperature (or slightly cooler) before serving.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, sriracha) before serving as a condiment alongside entrees or as one of the variations described in headnote. If desired for added color and an additional flavor "punch," stir in fresh arugula before serving.
  7. Refrigerate leftovers for up to two weeks. Freeze for longer storage, without impairing flavor or texture.
  8. Substitution options: Chestnut honey instead of buckwheat. Sherry vinegar instead of brown rice vinegar (but compare acidity strength). Expeller-pressed roasted pumpkin seed oil instead of butternut squash seed oil. Roasted garlic cloves instead of black garlic. *sold by Stony Brook WholeHeartedFoods online and at multiple specialty markets and supermarkets.
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9 Reviews

Cynthia P. September 20, 2013
Missing my Finger Lakes roots and love to cook a perfect combination.
ChopChop October 26, 2010
For Finger Lakes' nostalgia, check out the fall issue of "Edible Finger Lakes." Golden goodness everywhere... By far, my favorite season.
cheese1227 October 26, 2010
I have black garlic in the house. I am curious on how these two flavors meld.
ChopChop October 26, 2010
It’s probably over-the-top for me to suggest the black garlic is the cello in this string section of savory-sweet tones, mellow and muted without being strident or harshly garlicky.
cheese1227 October 26, 2010
Lovely image!
cbear1984 October 25, 2010
I had to look at this, because it had "Finger Lakes" in the title. Can I give Keuka and Penn Yan a shout out?
cbear1984 October 25, 2010
and the recipe looks awesome too!
Hilarybee October 25, 2010
I love the commitment to local ingredients. I love the Fingerlakes; I have fond memories of visiting my grandparents' Seneca Lake House. I might just get some butternut squash oil when I'm up there next.
Sagegreen October 25, 2010
Love the name and headnote!