Baked Squash with Almond Persimmon Picada

Baked Squash with Almond Persimmon Picada

Recipe No Image

Yield: Serves 8-10


2 ea. butternut squash, about 3 lb. each
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
1 cup slivered almonds
2 slices rustic, country style bread, about 1-in. thick, crusts removed
2 ea. Fuyu persimmons, peeled, seeded and diced
(use the crisp Fuyu type of persimmon, not the soft Hachiya type)
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. lemon zest, grated (preferably Meyer lemon)
1 tsp. pimentón (Spanish paprika)
1/2 tsp. saffron threads, crumbled
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Spanish sherry (amontillado or fino)


Oven Temperature: 500-550 degrees

  1. Peel the long neck of the squash and slice into 1/2-in. rounds. Brush each side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on sheet pans in a single layer.
  2. Flame Height: 3.6
  3. Roast squash in the center of the oven, turning once, until nicely browned and tender. Set aside while you prepare the picada.
  4. Flame Height: 2.6
  5. In a large skillet or casserole dish heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in the doorway. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until softened but barely browned. Remove garlic from pan and reserve. Add almonds and cook, stirring frequently until just toasted. Remove from oven.
  6. Brush the bread slices on both sides with oil and arrange in another shallow dish. Place this just inside the doorway and cook until toasted and golden brown all over, turning the bread and rotating the pan as needed. Let the bread cool and then tear into several pieces.
  7. In a food processor pulse the reserved garlic for a few seconds and then add the almonds and bread. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add all remaining ingredients except the sherry and pulse a few times just to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sherry gradually and to taste.
  8. Top each squash round with a couple of tablespoons of the picada mixture.
  9. Flame Height: 3
  10. Return squash to the center of the oven to heat through and to lightly crisp the topping.

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