Seasonal Ingredient Sunday: Squash with Mojo Aioli

This flavorful squash recipe with accompanying Mojo Aioli from Chef Orlando Rodriguez could be the perfect Sunday project.
Photo provided by Chef Orlando Rodriguez

By Chef Orlando Rodriguez of GRAFT Wine + Cider Bar

This flavorful squash recipe with accompanying Mojo Aioli could be the perfect Sunday project! The look and taste of the final product is sure to be worth it. This recipe was generously shared with Edible Finger Lakes by Orlando Rodriguez, the chef at Graft Wine + Cider Bar in Watkins Glen.

(Serves 6)


6 898 squash from Row 7 (or substitute 3 small acorn or butternut squash)
2 tablespoons ancho Chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cut the squash in half length wise. Then scoop out the seeds and set aside. Place the squash on a sheet pan with 1/2 inch of water on the bottom. Season the squash with salt, pepper, and sprinkle with ancho chili powder. Bake for approximately 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Take the squash seeds and rinse under water. Next lightly oil the seeds, toss with salt, pepper and 1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne. Place on a sheet pan and toast in a 350 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes till golden brown color.


2 cups vegetable oil
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cilantro
4 garlic cloves
The juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper to taste

Add egg yolk, cilantro, garlic, lime juice in a food processor. Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the vegetable oil very slowly till all the oil is incorporated season with salt and pepper.

Place on a platter and serve the mojo aioli on the side and sprinkle with the squash seed. Or spread the mojo aioli on the bottom of the plate, then place squash on top of the mojo aioli and sprinkle the squash seeds on top.

After 12 years as executive chef at Veraisons Restaurant at Glenora Wine Cellars, Chef Orlando Rodriguez opened his solo venture Graft Wine + Cider Bar in 2019 when he and his wife, Natacia, purchased the eatery on Franklin Street in Watkins Glen. Learn more by visiting

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