Valley Bounty: Butternut Squash

I went out to dinner with a friend last week, and the restaurant featured pickled local butternut squash on their specials board. I was pretty skeptical, but my friend insisted on ordering a serving for us to try, and I have to admit that my skepticism, while perhaps warranted, was unnecessary.  The sweet and sour of the squash and the vinegar proved to be a pleasant contrast, supplemented by the warming flavors of clove and nutmeg. After a little poking around online, it seems like most pickled butternut recipes simply call for simmering the squash with vinegar, salt, sugar, and some additional flavors (cardamom and sage, for example, or chili flakes and bay leaves) and pickling in the fridge, so I’m definitely planning to try this for myself sometime this winter.

If pickled squash doesn’t float your boat but you’d still like to break out of a roasted squash rut, I’ve also been enjoying making butternut squash ravioli lately — the filling is a mixture of cooked butternut, ricotta, Parmesan, olive oil, caramelized onion, and black pepper. The sweetness of these ravioli pairs well with something light and savory, like a butter sauce with sage. This filling also works well in pierogi.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)