The sweet-sour grape jam and creamy ricotta complement and cool the smokiness of the squash.
This unusual but stunning recipe comes courtesy of Jacques and Michelle Fourie at Ember Yard. At the restaurant, they bake the squash, then cold-smoke it and finish it over the grill. For home cooking, the hot-smoking process followed by a quick grilling works beautifully.
Hot-Smoked Butternut Squash with Ricotta and Grape Jam
- A lump of oak hardwood and some oak wood chips
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 3 1/3 cups seedless black grapes
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup ricotta
- 1 tsp oregano leaves to serve
- sea salt and black pepper
- Light the barbecue and set for direct/indirect cooking. Place the wood to the side of the charcoal to start smoking.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and then score the flesh in a criss-cross pattern with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut right though. Season with salt and pepper and place on the grill in the indirect heat zone. Close the lid and the vent and cook for about 1 1/2 hours (the temperature inside the barbecue should be 350ºF), throwing a handful of oak chips onto the charcoal halfway through the cooking time.
- When the squash is nearly done, put the grapes, sugar, wine and vinegar into a small saucepan. Open the lid of the barbecue, place the pan in the direct heat zone and bring to the boil, then move into the indirect heat zone and simmer for 20 minutes until the grapes have a jammy, syrupy consistency.
- The squash is ready when it’s nice and tender – the tip of a small knife should go in easily. Cut the squash halves in half lengthwise again, then serve with the ricotta, some grape jam and a sprinkling of oregano leaves.