Roasted Delicata Squash ♥

Roasted Delicata Squash
The very easiest winter squash to cook, the delicata, here oven-roasted in pretty little half rings.

Say hello to my very favorite "easy weeknight vegetable" -- at least during the fall and winter. It's the delicata squash, see those two long-ish squash in the background of the photo? Those are delicata squash. What you can't see is that these guys are small, maybe six inches long. One squash feeds two or four, no need to pack up leftovers.

And delicata skins are edible, not as soft as a zucchini skin but not as hard as the skin of a butternut squash. This is good news because -- there's no peeling!

And unlike a butternut squash, where you need to worry about How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers. No, not these delicata babies, these baby delicatas. It's easy as can be to slice into a delicata squash, no minute in the microwave required. Just you and a sharp knife. Or hey, a dull knife, you decide.

So yes, this is my favorite weeknight squash. Any chance it's yours, too? or will be?


RECIPE for ROASTED DELICATA SQUASH

Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 40 minutes
Serves 2 or 4 (see TIPS)

1 delicata squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. (You can also roast vegetables at 375F or 425F, to match the oven temperature for dinner. Just adjust the timing.) For easy cleanup later, line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.

Wash the squash well under running water, paying special attention to the stem and blossom ends. Now slice off this ends, just a narrow slice. Now cut the squash in half lengthwise. With a spoon -- a grapefruit spoon works especially well -- scoop out and discard the seeds and any gunk attached to them. Place the halves cut-size down on a cutting board and cut half inch or so-wide half rings. If you look at them right, you'll see all kinds of big smiles. Hey, I'm happy to see you, too, Mz. Delicata!

Dump all those delicata smilie faces into a big bowl and drizzle the olive oil over top. Wash your hands -- because now you're gonna get in their with your hands, tossing the squash with your hands, distributing the oil. (Why do it with our hands? Because it takes less oil. If you just drizzle the pan or the squash, without helping to distribute the oil, it takes a lot, lot more.) Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet -- it's worth taking an extra minute or two to put them in a single layer, smilie sides up, of course. No frowns!

Roast for 15 minutes, then give them a toss to turn and roast another 10 to 15 minutes, checking every five minutes. I like them a little crispy, almost candy-like, but cook them to the point where you like the texture.

That's it! Serve and enjoy! And smile!

ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
The longer the squash cooks and crisps up, the smaller the squash shrinks up. So if you need or want to serve four, cook the squash just until soft, not until crispy. Either way, it's easy to gobble up the whole plateful, one or two or three or four people. Everyone will be smiling.



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A Veggie Venture is home of squash lover and 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
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© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2011


5 comments:

I like to bake them and do them us as 'boat's with grains, and veggies in them.

Love delicata.... just found out it is also called Sweet Potato squash, which makes sense from the color of the cooked flesh.

omg you're my squash twin! We ordered delicata from our organic veg box company last week (we had it stewed with red and black beans, yum!) and this week we've got the doppelganger to the other squash in your photo! (no really, email me and I'll send you a cute photo of our cat posing with it!) I'm still keen to try your mango and coconut soup, too...

Sounds absolutely wonderful, and I have never tried the delicata before. Thanks for the recipe!

Delicata is one of my favorite winter veggies. Is there any way to be sure that the squash will not have a bitter taste? I have had this problem a number of times - it is almost like the particular squash I had cooked wasn't "ripe" yet.

Thanks soooooo much for turning me on to Delicata squash. I absolutely adore this heavenly squash. It's very hard to find, but my grocer, God bless him, ordered me enough to last the winter. I saved a pile of seeds and will plant it myself along with Kabocha squash, also new to me this year. I made a divine soup with this squash, some broth and a package of the new cooking cream cheese (Southwest flavor). This turned out so well. I also added some dried chilies to fire up the works. Anyway, love your emails and recipes. Keep up the good work.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna