When Pomegranate Steals the Show

Squash with pistachio gremolata -- bejeweled with the fall fruit

Editor’s Note: One of our favorite recipe developers and cooks, Holly Haines, is back on The Bittman Project and we’re absolutely thrilled. Expect to see her work here more often, in particular, her soothing videos and super photogenic dishes. You can find her on Instagram and get her books here.

I’ve been interning at an organic farm here in San Diego for the past couple of months. One of my goals this year has been to learn how to grow something more than sensitive houseplants (shoutout to my fiddle-leaf figs) and actually grow things I can eat. I also just want to be a better human and gain some understanding of how my food is produced and where it comes from. Farm work is hard work, but I thoroughly enjoy it. Also, every ear of organic corn should be $10 because the amount of labor involved deserves to be paid handsomely.

This week, we harvested squash: honeynut, delicata, and some kind of cross between a pumpkin and a delicata, because they grew next to each other and that’s what happens sometimes. Any combination of thin-skinned squashes will work for this recipe. Honestly, any squash will work but I choose the thin-skinned varieties because I can’t be bothered to peel them.

Squash with Pistachio Gremolata

Makes: 4-6 servings as a side
Time: About 1 hour


For the squash:

  • 5-6 lbs. thin-skinned squash (delicata, honeynut)

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

For the pistachio sumac gremolata:

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped

  • 1 lemon, zest and juice 

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon sumac

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 2 teaspoon white wine vinegar

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the top off of each squash; scoop out the seeds and discard. Cut the squash into 1” thick rings. Alternately, for larger squash, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and cut into 1” thick half-moons.

Toss squash with about 1/2 cup of olive oil, and season with a good pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Place in one even layer on a baking sheet (use more than one baking sheet if needed to maintain a single layer) and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully flip the squash. Continue to cook the squash for 15-20 more minutes, until tender and caramelized. Make the gremolata in the meantime. 

2. For the gremolata, start by making a garlic paste. Using the side of a knife, smash and press 2 cloves of garlic together with a good pinch of salt until it forms a paste. In a medium bowl, combine garlic paste, parsley, pistachios, lemon juice and zest, pepper flakes, sumac, olive oil, and vinegar. Taste; adjust salt, olive oil, and vinegar as needed. 

3. Place the squash on a serving platter and drop spoonfuls of gremolata over the top.

Garnish with pomegranate seeds.


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