Seasonal Squash and Pomegranate with Goat Cheese & Balsamic Reduction
Good recipes are a lot like good wine and good people, they have a special way of bringing out a celebration’s essential sense of family, friendship, and community. So, with the holiday season on the horizon, we’ve been on a search for new and exciting dishes to share with the Best Bottle community. We didn’t have to look far. Executive Chef Dom Crisp from Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica, CA made our search easy. His Seasonal Squash and Pomegranate with Goat Cheese & Balsamic Reduction is amazing and will be on our table for Halloween. Now, preheat that oven because it’s time to celebrate!
Direct from the kitchen of Chef Dom: Seasonal Squash and Pomegranate with Goat Cheese & Balsamic Reduction
First and foremost this flavor profile is amazing with any seasonal squash right now but most presentable with Delicata.
- 2 Delicata squash (6 inch in length, ends cut off and cored) * use handle of a long spoon to knock out seeds and undesired squash bits, lightly scrape the inside to create a squash telescope
- 6 ounces by volume of nice red balsamic vinegar, Modena or otherwise
- 2 ounces by volume Meadowfoam Oregon honey
- 4 ounces by volume soft, fresh goat cheese *Trader Joes sells a nice little tube
- 1 ripe pomegranate
- 2 tablespoons nice extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 ounce of fresh-picked thyme leaves
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, convection is ideal but will accelerate cook time by 5 minutes.
- In a small saucepan incorporate the balsamic vinegar and honey. Stir and reduce on medium heat by half or until liquid sticks to the back of your spoon without sliding off or looking like loose liquid. Set aside and cool at room temp.
- Cut the pomegranate in half, using the back of a rolling pin and knock Seeds into a bowl of water. This will allow the seeds to sink to the bottom and pith to rise to the top. Strain seeds out and set aside.
- Cut Delicata squash into rings about 1/2 inch thick, put in a bowl and lightly toss with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper, then evenly on the unlined sheet tray. You want the contact with metal to create texture on the squash rings. Bake for 15 minutes, remove once, rotate and shuffle rings, you’ll know they are done by sticking one with a fork, should go in easily and skin should have a pleasant texture.
You can do a couple of things with the goat cheese, you can melt it on rings 5 minutes before they are removed from the oven. You can put it on fresh OR you can freeze the block and grate it on the baked rings. I prefer freezing and grating it as it creates more surface area for the cheese and improves its flavor.
The plate should look like a couple of rings, goat cheese, pomegranate seeds and finished with a healthy drizzle of balsamic reduction.