sabato 20 ottobre 2012

Butternut Squash: Glory of the Fall Garden

(Per leggere la versione italiana, vedi il posto precedente.)

(Photo from Wikipedia. All the other photos are from the garden and kitchen of Leonardo Ciampa.)
A fall squash, orange in color, the butternut is one of the glories of the American garden. True to its name, the flavor is both buttery and nutty, a magnificent flavor completely different from other fall and winter squashes. (It’s entirely different from pumpkin.)

It’s almost impossible to give the exact quantities for this recipe, every squash being different and every onion being different. However: Heat a 12-inch pan over a low flame. Add very little extra-virgin olive oil. Add a medium-sized onion, cut in ”half moons.“
At the same time, add a stick of butter, cut in four or five pieces. Meanwhile, the butternut is peeled, the seeds have been removed, and the squash is cut in slices about 1/4 inch thick and about 3 inches long.
Immediately, even before the butter is melted, put a layer of these slices on top of the onions. Be careful to put only one layer of squash; slices on top of slices won't cook. On top of these, lay whole leaves of fresh, garden sage.
(Make sure they don't touch the bottom of the pan.) If the butter isn't salted, add a little bit of salt. Cook everything, still on a low flame, until the onions and squash brown. (Careful not to burn them.)

At the end, optionally, you can grate a little nutmeg on top, to accentuate the nutty flavor inhererent in the squash. But honestly, the butternut already has such a magnificent flavor that it isn't necessary at all.
The aroma of this dish is absolutely beyond description!

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