Gustav Schmiege
Gulf Tilefish with Roasted Squash, Pickled Squash & Pumpkin Seed Pesto
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Gulf Tilefish with Roasted Squash, Pickled Squash & Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Shawn Cirkiel, Parkside / March 2011

For 4 servings

Squash chips:
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 12 paper-thin slices butternut squash with skin on

  1. Heat 1/4 cup water in small saucepan until an instant-read thermometer registers 200°F; add sugar; cook until dissolved; remove from heat; dip squash slices, one at a time, into syrup; place squash in dehydrator; dehydrate at 125°F until crispy (about 8 hours); remove from dehydrator; place in airtight container; cover; reserve.

Pickled butternut squash:
• 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 whole star anise
• 1 pod cardamom
• 1/2 cup butternut squash, cut into brunoise

  1. Bring 1/2 cup water, vinegar, sugar, and spices to a boil in small nonreactive saucepan; add squash; remove from heat; let stand until cool; place in airtight container; cover; reserve in refrigerator.

Pumpkin seed pesto:
• 40 basil leaves
• 5 1/4 Tbsps. flat-leaf parsley leaves
• 3 Tbsps. pumpkin seeds
• 1 Tbsp. garlic
• 2 tsps. fresh lemon juice
• 6 Tbsps. olive oil
• salt
• black pepper, freshly ground

  1. Place basil, parsley, pumpkin seeds, garlic, and juice in the bowl of a processor; pulse to incorporate; with motor running, gradually add oil; process until smooth; season; place in airtight container; cover; reserve in refrigerator.

Roasted squash:
• 1 lb. butternut squash, cut into lg. dice
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• salt
• black pepper, freshly ground

  1. Heat wood-burning oven to 700°F.

  2. Heat cast-iron skillet in oven until smoking; remove from oven; add squash and oil; toss to coat; roast, turning squash over as needed, until tender and brown on all sides (cover with foil part way through baking if squash browns before it is completely cooked through); remove from oven; season; reserve (keep warm).

Assembly:
• salt
• black pepper, freshly ground
• 12  2-oz. pieces tilefish, patted dry with paper towels
• 1/2 cup sm. lettuces
• 2 Tbsps. chives, cut into batons
• 2 Tbsps. cilantro, finely chopped
• 2 Tbsps. Thai basil, finely chopped
• 3 Tbsps. olive oil
• 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter
• 4 sprigs thyme
• 1 shallot, halved
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1/4 cup pumpkin seed oil

  1. Heat oven to 425°F.

  2. Season tilefish; reserve.

  3. Place 1/2 cup reserved pickled squash, lettuces, and herbs in a bowl; toss to combine; reserve.

  4. Heat oil in large sauté pan set over high heat; add tilefish; reduce heat to medium-high; add butter, thyme, shallot, and garlic; remove from heat; place in oven; cook until fish is warm all the way through when pierced with a metal skewer; remove from oven; place fish on paper towels to drain.

  5. To serve, place warm roasted squash and 1/2 cup pesto in a bowl; toss to coat; place 3 pieces fish on each plate; mound roasted squash between fish pieces; top with salad; drizzle with pumpkin seed oil; garnish with squash chips.

What to drink: Peay Estates Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2008