Sephardim, typically serve pumpkin, or squash, on Rosh Hashanah because the thick skin of the pumpkin represents the hope that as a thick covering protects the vegetable, G-D will protect us.
- 2 pound butternut squash or small pie pumpkin
- 2 Tablespoons -1/4 cup olive oil, as needed
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup chiffonade of fresh mint
- 2 large cloves of garlic sliced lengthwise into thin slivers
- ½ cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup sugar (less if using balsamic vinegar)
- 1/8-teaspoon cinnamon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise and peel it and remove all seeds and fibers from the inside. Cut each half lengthwise again and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.
- Place the sliced squash or pumpkin on a non-stick cookie sheet with 1-inch rim. Add enough of the olive oil to liberally coat the slices. Sprinkle very lightly with kosher salt and bake in a 350F oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven. Retain any remaining oil from the pan for the sauce.
- In a 2-quart casserole layer the cooked squash with the mint and garlic slivers.
- Heat a 1-quart saucepan for 20 seconds. Add any oil retained from the cookie sheet. Add the vinegar, sugar, and cinnamon to the pan and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture bubbles and thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.
- Pour the hot syrup over the squash and move the mixture gently with a rubber spatula to distribute the sauce amongst the layers.
- Serve at once or at room temperature, which is perfect for a buffet.