In looking for something to prepare as a side dish for Thanksgiving, I thought a squash recipe would be a great compliment to our dinner. Winter squashes — such as butternut, acorn, hubbard, delicata, and pumpkin — are abundant from early fall through late spring. I came across this Sicilian recipe from the New York Times and I thought it would be a great addition to our family’s Thanksgiving diner. This can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature or warmed in the oven.
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 1⁄2 pounds peeled, seeded winter squash, like kabocha or butternut, cut in slices 1/4 inch thick by 2 or 3 inches long
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus additional leaves for garnish
Pomegranate seeds for garnish
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy skillet, preferably cast iron. Add the garlic cloves and cook, stirring, until golden brown. Remove the garlic from the oil and discard.
Cook the squash slices in the hot oil, adding only 1 layer of slices at a time to the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until squash is lightly browned on the first side, and flip over using a spatula or tongs. Cook until squash is lightly browned on the other side and tender all the way through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer first to paper towels to drain, then to a platter. Repeat until all of the squash is used up. Sprinkle with chopped fresh mint, garnish with whole mint leaves and pomegranate seeds, and serve.
Advance preparation: You can make this a few hours ahead if you don’t plan on serving it hot.
Nutritional information per serving (4 servings): 181 calories; 2 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 10 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 15 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 9 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 2 grams protein.
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