Apple Cider Braised Squash with Walnuts and Pomegranate Seeds

Apple Cider Braised Squash with Walnuts and Pomegranate Seeds

This is a recipe I made last week at the San Francisco Farmer's Market Food Wise booth. Every Tuesday they have guest chefs make a seasonal dish for the public to taste. I had one gentleman come up to me and exclaim, "This is absolutely perfect!" I was on cloud 9 for the rest of the day. Squash cooked in cider is a lovely combination of starchy and sweet while the nuts and pomegranates give it a great fatty and sour crunch. Think of this as a potential replacement for the traditional marshmallow topped sweet potatoes. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6

2 kabocha squash (about 2 pounds) or other firm winter squash such as acorn or butternut

3 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee

1 garlic clove, minced

1 inch piece freshly grated ginger or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 1/2 cups fresh unfiltered apple cider or juice

1 cup water

2 teaspoons brown rice or apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped Walnuts or almonds, toasted and chopped

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

If using kabocha squash, cut off the stem and split lengthwise.Peel it with a vegetable peeler and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each piece lengthwise in half again, then crosswise into 1/2-inch -thick slices. If using an acorn squash use the same method however you do not have to peel it.

Melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over low heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the garlic.

Add the squash to the skillet, then the apple cider, water, vinegar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat at an even boil until the cider has boiled down to a glaze and the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper, and additional salt if needed.Top with fresh cilantro, toasted nuts, and pomegranate seeds and serve.