Winter Squash Caponata
Chef Jim Dixon, the cook behind http://realgoodfood.com/
Using winter squash instead of eggplant for this Sicilian classic wasn't my idea, but it's a really good one. I've written before about my preference for the big, pumpkin-y Cucurbit varieties (like North Georgia Candy Roaster, Silver Bell, Sweet Meat, Sweet Mama, and Winter Sweet), and since they provide a lot of squash to eat, I'm always looking for another way to use them. But you can make this with any SIMPLE winter squash. You'll want about 3 cups of cut up squash.
Cut the squash into roughly 3/4 inch chunks (and always save the seeds; roast with olive oil and salt). Toss it into a skillet slicked with extra virgin olive oil and cook over medium heat. Toss in a chopped red onion, a couple of celery stalks, 2-3 cloves of garlic, a good handful of chopped green olives, and a couple of tablespoons of capers. Add a good pinch of salt, too.
When the squash is tender (maybe 15 minutes), add a splash (2 tablespoons or so) of red wine vinegar, a healthy squirt of cane syrup (or a couple of tablespoons of sugar or honey), and about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Cook for another 5 minutes to let the flavors blend, then sprinkle with a few pinches of oregano. Drizzle with more extra virgin on the plate.
You can eat this warm as vegetable side, but I like it best at room temperature with good bread.