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Winter Squash Recipes

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We are most definitely in a transition period at the local markets. Summer produce is phasing out and autumn crops are coming in.

One of my favorite things to look for are the winter squashes, those long lived vegetables that are so versatile and so tasty. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino is

also a big fan. His advice: treat them like sweet potatoes.

Here are a few recipes Jerry has come up with, including a tempting dish from Italy that I can't wait to try.

Delicata Squash Agrodolce

Ingredients

3 delicata or dumpling squashes, seeds removed, cut into 1-inch wedges

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

2 Fresno chiles, thinly sliced

¾ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup honey

2 tablespoons golden raisins, chopped

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400°. Place the delicata squash on large rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until squash is golden brown and tender, 20–25 minutes

Meanwhile, bring chiles, vinegar, honey, raisins, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until syrupy, 8–10 minutes.

Brush half of warm agrodolce over warm squash. Transfer to a platter.

Just before serving, reheat remaining agrodolce, adding a splash of water if needed to loosen. Spoon over squash. Serve warm

Kabocha Squash Gnocchi

Ingredients

1 kabocha squash

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add the squash to the boiling water and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and mash with a fork or potato masher.

Combine the 2 cups mashed squash, the flour and egg in a large bowl. Knead until dough forms a ball. Shape small portions of the dough into long "ropes". On a floured surface, cut ropes into half-inch pieces. Roll each piece down a gnocchi paddle or the back of a fork to form dumplings with ridges on one side and a dimple on the other.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until gnocchi have risen to the top. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon and drain on a clean tea towel. The gnocchi are ready to use in your favorite recipe.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.