Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pickled squash (or pumpkin)

For a while now, the latest thing in food trends has been pickling (and now as I say that, I realize that pickling is probably no longer the latest thing, there's probably something else cooler and newer I don't know about yet, but hey, I'm not cool). Pickling is easy to do--essentially, vinegar plus sugar and/or salt plus spices, put in a jar, done--and almost anything can be pickled. The obvious, cucumbers, but also carrots, radishes, beets, apples, pears, squash, pumpkin, onions, cranberries, you name it.

The restaurant where I work has been featuring pickled pumpkin as an accompaniment with the chicken liver pate--tiny pieces of raw pumpkin, pickled. They're addictively delicious. So I decided to make some of my own, using butternut squash instead of pumpkin.

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and diced very small
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
cardamom pods (or, if you don't have any of those, fennel seeds would be very nice)

Put the diced squash (or pumpkin) in a jar. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar over medium heat. When dissolved, pour over the diced squash and add the seasoning. Seal and place into the refrigerator for a day or two. Enjoy with pate, cheese, charcuterie, or just eat by the handful, which is what I seem to be doing.

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