During the winter, we eat a lot of hardy squashes. Like most cooks, we usually cut them into wedges or cubes, throw them in oven until they’re caramelized and tender and call it done. During our stay in Sicily, Fabrizia Lanza made us a dish of grilled winter squash that forced us to look at the vegetable in a completely different way and showed off the depth and subtlety of Sicilian food. Cooking sliced delicata rings quickly over a grill produces squash that still has a bit of snap and a flavorful hint of its vegetal roots, one that doesn’t surrender completely to its sugary nature.
.25cupwhite wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut off one end of each of the squashes to reveal the seeds and core. Using a long-handled spoon, scrape out the seeds and discard (or save for another use). Cut the squash crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices.
Heat a grill or a grill pan over moderate heat. Do not oil the grates of the grill or the pan, but make sure they are very clean. Have a platter and a piece of foil on hand.
Dry-grill the squash until charred on one side, about 5 minutes, then use tongs to flip the squash and continue to cook until the slices are well browned and almost tender, about 5 minutes more. As the slices are grilled, transfer them to a platter and cover with foil. Season lightly with salt and keep tightly covered while you make the agrodolce.n sheet about 5 minutes before placing on a wire cooling rack until cooled completely.
Combine the shallots and olive oil in a skillet over moderate heat and cook, stirring from time to time, until softened and golden brown in spots, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the raisins, vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper and simmer until the mixture has reduced to a juicy glaze, about 2 minutes.
Immediately pour the shallot mixture over the squash and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.