Friday, November 23, 2018

Roasted Delicata Squash

It's a bit hard to get excited about Delicata squash. I can understand that. It's also the kind of squash that many people likely pass by because they know it's a squash but they don't really know what to do with it. But once you master how to draw the best elements of this squash, you will be a convert.
photo of squash

The trick is to roast the squash to draw out and intensify the creamy flavors and textures. You want to get some color on the squash. Some browning (and even a little bit of black) really helps. The crisp and crunchy exterior mixed with the smooth, creamy inside almost resembles eating french fries.

It's also simple to prepare. You eat the skin so there's no peeling involved. All you have to do is scoop out the seeds and membranes in the core.

Finally, it's a side dish that can easily complement whatever your main dish is. This is because you can use any variety of seasonings you want on the squash. If you are using a particular seasoning on your main dish, add the same to your squash. For this preparation, I added some roasted garlic powder and a seasoning mixture from Penzey's spices along with the salt and pepper. If you're new to Delicata squash, start simple and then begin to experiment on future preparations.

Roasted Delicata Squash

  • Delicata squash - figure one squash per two people when served as a side
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • seasonings of choice
  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
  • Thoroughly wash the outside of the squash (you're going to be eating it after all). Let dry before preparing.
  • Cut off the stem and the tip of the bottom.
  • Cut in half lengthwise and with a spoon scoop out the seeds and the membranes. Scrape the spoon along the flesh and try to get a smooth surface on the squash.
  • Cut into uniform 1/2 inch slices
  • Place slices in a large bowl and add some salt and pepper--be generous with both
  • Add your seasonings of choice and olive oil
  • Stir to mix making sure each slice gets a good coating of oil and seasoning mix
  • Arrange on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet single layer
  • Roast in the oven for 15 minutes
  • Remove the sheet and turn over each slice then return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes
  • Remove from oven, let cool for a bit, then serve as a side