Oven Baked Winter Squash Caponata!
No eggplants in site here until summer, so when I saw this seasonal caponata using squash I was excited to try it!
I love Anna Jones' recipes, a food writer and cookbook author in the UK.
She had this great idea of using winter squash to replace the eggplant ("aubergine" as they call it in the UK).
And another thing that attracted me to this recipe was instead of the usual stovetop method, this was all made in the oven!
So easy and a nice change from the usual summer eggplant version.
If you are not acquainted with caponata then I suggest you do so.
It's a scrumptious Sicilian eggplant relish/spread. It is sweet, salty & sour all at the same time.
Raisins and capers are a must, and I adore it with topped fresh basil in the summer.
Serve with crostini or toasted pita chips (reminder: I am not the pita chip lady!).
This is my favorite new spread.
Anna Jones' Squash Caponata: (adapted from The Guardian)
35 oz. can of plum tomatoes (I used only the tomatoes, and saved the juice for another time)
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1" pieces
2 small red onions, peeled and cut into quarters
4 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste (I always add it to my caponata)
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup black kalamata olives
2 heaping tbsp capers
1/4 c golden raisins
1 large handful fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
toasted pine nuts (optional)
hot pepper flakes (optional)
Heat the oven to 425F. Put the canned tomatoes (use the tomatoes only, not the juice) in a large, high-sided baking tray, squishing them between your fingers. Followed by the squash, onions, garlic, three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, three tablespoons of olive oil and some kosher salt and pepper (hot pepper flakes, if using).
Roast for 35 minutes, until everything is slightly charred, sticky and soft.
Add the olives, capers and raisins, mix everything, mashing slightly with a fork, and return to the oven for 15 minutes.
Let cool and garnish with fresh parsley and toasted pine nuts. Gets even better the next day.
If I am being honest here, and I am always honest (when it comes to food), I liked this 10 times more than my usual recipe. The squash is so sweet and delicious....no extra sugar is needed in the recipe, and I promise you won't miss the eggplant.
Trust me on this one.
Enjoy with a crispy egg on top and pretend it's summer!