This is a dessert, if you follow the recipe. It can also be a side dish, if you omit the sweetener and add some salt, to taste. Greek-style yogurt, frozen yogurt, or ice cream are good accompaniments to the dessert.

1/2 c raisins or other dried fruit
1 c boiling water
2 T unsalted butter or oil
2 t ground cumin
3 c chopped, peeled, seeded kabocha or butternut squash
1/2 c chopped nuts–walnuts, almonds, cashews…
1/4 – 1/2 c sweetener–sugar, maple syrup, agave…
1/2 t grated or 1 t minced peeled fresh ginger
2 T lemon juice
black pepper, to taste

1. Soak the raisins or other dried fruit in the boiling water for half an hour. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid.

2. Melt the butter or heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and cook, stirring, for about a minute. The cumin will become quite fragrant. Add the squash, tossing to coat with the cumin mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down if the squash pieces are sticking too readily to the pan. Add the raisins and nuts and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the reserved soaking liquid. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add the sweetener and ginger. (Or, salt and ginger, if this is a side.) Stir to combine. Cover and cook until the squash is tender. Uncover, increase the heat and cook for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced and has thickened somewhat. Stir in the lemon juice and pepper.