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Winter Squash Marinated with Garlic and Mint
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2 lb
butternut or other winter squash
1 c
extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
red wine vinegar
¼ c
fresh mint leaves, torn into pieces
garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly crosswise

Adapted from My Calabria by Rosetta Costantino with Janet Fletcher

Butternut squash is common and easy to use here, but you can use any kind of winter squash, provided you slice it thinly. Don’t add too much sliced squash to the pan during the frying stage. You want the slices to go golden brown, and a squash glut in the pan inhibits that.


  1. Cut off the stem end of the squash, then peel it with a peeler or a sharp knife. If using butternut squash, it helps to first cut the vegetable nearly in half, where the bulbous end meets the more slender neck. Cut the peeled pieces in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds using a spoon. Then slice each piece crosswise into pieces a little less than a ¼ inch thick.
  2. Select a serving dish that can accommodate three layers of squash. An oval gratin dish that is 8 by 13 inches would be perfect.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Fry the squash in batches, using tongs to turn each batch once. You want each side to turn golden brown, which happens in about 2 to 3 minutes. Don't crowd the skillet. Doing so inhibits browning. As each batch is finished, transfer it to the serving dish. When a layer covers the bottom of the serving dish, season it evenly with salt and pepper, a third of the vinegar, a third of the mint, and a third of the sliced garlic. Continue frying, layering, and seasoning until you have used all the squash and all the seasonings.
  4. Marinate at room temperature for at least 4 hours before serving, or refrigerate overnight, bringing the marinated squash to room temperature before serving. Serve as a side with most any meal, or as an antipasto.

Scott Hocker

Scott Hocker is a writer, editor, recipe developer, cookbook author, and content and editorial consultant. He has worked in magazines, kitchens, newsletters, restaurants and a bunch of other environments he can’t remember right now. He has also been the editor in chief of both liquor.com and Tasting Table.