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Fried Winter Squash with Gorgonzola Butter

(recipe, Deborah Madison)


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Introduction

A good squash to use for this is Rugosa, or violin butternut, an Italian heirloom that, unfortunately, is not easy to find. Second to that, use a butternut squash with as long a neck as possible, as that’s the part you’ll be using. You slice it into rounds, then into wedges if you have a really large squash. Another good candidate is a big chunk of Musquée de Provence, which is easy to slice into wedges.

Ingredients

    Squash
    1. 1 lb. Rugosa squash, neck of butternut squash, or Musquée de Provence
    2. Olive oil, as needed
    Sauce
    1. 1 small garlic clove
    2. Pinch of sea salt
    3. 1 oz. butter, at room temperature
    4. 1 oz. Gorgonzola, at room temperature
    Garnishes
    1. Minced parsley
    2. Crushed walnuts
    3. Freshly ground pepper

    Steps

    1. Peel the squash and slice it crosswise into rounds no more than ⅜-inch thick. (If you're using a Musquée de Provence, you can leave the peel on, and slice the squash into wedges.)
    2. Heat a cast-iron skillet, brush olive oil over the surface of the pan just to cover, then add the squash. Cook over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes; the surface will be mottled with caramelized spots here and there.
    3. While the squash is cooking, pound the garlic and salt in a mortar until creamy, then add the butter and cheese and work them together into a paste. (The blue veining in the cheese will make a rather drab-looking butter, but don’t worry — that’s why we finish with the parsley.)
    4. When the squash is ready, season it lightly with salt. Remove the cooked squash to a plate, and spoon a little Gorgonzola butter onto each slice. Season with a few pinches of minced parsley, the walnuts, and freshly ground pepper, and serve.