Food + Wine

Delicate … ( and Crunchy! ) Delicata

If you’re a major gourd fan like myself, you probably have heard of / purchased / eaten / cooked delicata squash.

photo cred : wikipedia

She’s my fav out of all the squashes. Butternut used to hold that title, but ever since I discovered you do not have to put in all of that elbow grease into the delicata… I quickly picked a new winner. I will always love my butternut, but there’s something so very special about not having to change the thing in order to love it.

The delicata squash has an edible and palatable peel, and if you’ve ever had to peel a butternut, you feel me on why she gets the points here. I’ve cooked un-peeled acorn squash before and eaten it, but it still can be tough in spots. Not the delicata; her skin completely tenderizes and does not get in the way of your eating pleasure. It also bulks up the nutrition, increasing the fiber and vitamins.

So it’s the squash for the busy life. Or the lazy life. However you wanna look at it.

BUT I take it one step further.

I don’t seed the sucker either. Nope. Never have. I’ve been cooking my delicata squash this way for years but just never took the time to share it. So last night when I was prepping dinner, weak on my period, tired and sick while also feeling the affects of my recent covid booster, it somehow seemed like the best time to decide to share it with y’all🤷‍♀️.

This ‘recipe’ could not be simpler. You’re just cutting off the ends (having already washed the skin thoroughly), slicing into rounds, and roasting the pieces with the skin and the seeds all in tact! And what you end up with is this incredible combination of textures and flavors… you have the tender, sweet flesh of the squash and the skin, and this bonus rich and nutty crunch of the seeds in the center. It all cooks perfectly together at once in about 20 minutes. You can flavor it however you’d like… it really loves spice and indian flavors… but it’s just as lovely seasoned on the more mellow side of things.

Make it tonight!

Roasted Seeded Delicata Squash

recipe makes however much you want 😉

I like to plan on 1 delicata squash per 2 people as a side dish. You may have leftovers, but that’s a good method to keep in mind. Most are around 1 pound per, and you just want to make sure you have firm skin and no soft spots when you’re choosing your squash. They also, as most gourds, keep for weeks at room temperature before cutting into.

  • Wash and dry your whole squash.
  • Trim the ends off and discard / compost.
  • Slice into 1 inch slices, no need for precise measuring but do be sure they’re as even as you can make them.
  • Place in a single layer on a well oiled sheet pan. ( I was able to fit 2 sliced squashes onto one large sheet tray.)
  • Generously cover the slices with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and white sugar.
  • Dust with pumpkin pie spice or Chinese 5 Spice.
  • Roast at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until they’re deeply golden brown on the bottom and softened on the top.
  • Flip each slice over and season as you did the first side.
  • Return to the oven and roast for another 10-12 minutes, watching to pull them before they get too brown. You do want a dark golden brown, but that’s one step before burnt if you’re not paying attention.
  • Serve hot.

thanks for reading, ya’ll! take care x

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