The manageable Delicata is the first to appear in the markets in fall. It’s lovely to look at – pale yellow, with pretty green stripes and dependably sweet with a good balance of moisture. Unlike some of the larger, exceptionally tough winter squashes, the thin-skinned Delicata is both versatile and simple to prepare. It’s the only winter squash whose seeds and skin are both edible, and it’s small enough to cook quickly.
Of course you can peel the squash and scoop out the seeds, but why bother if they taste good and the texture is pleasant?
Here are some ideas for using the delectable Delicata.
Simply cut crosswise into rounds and toss with olive oil and salt, a few unpeeled but crushed garlic cloves, and some whole sage leaves. Roast at 400 degrees F on a baking sheet in a single layer until brown and caramelized, 20-25 minutes. Once you have your squash cooked you may use it in several different ways:
– Enjoy as a side dish with just about anything. Squash pairs particularly well with white beans.
– Toss with browned butter and cooked whole wheat fettuccine sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
– Make a batch of warm polenta and top with roasted squash and Parmesan, blue cheese or crumbled goat cheese.
– Toss with arugula, toasted pine nuts and crumbled blue cheese for a wonderful salad.
– Make a brown rice bowl with the squash, spinach or other cooked greens, toasted nuts and protein (such as chicken or tofu), if you like.
– Here’s a wonderful sounding recipe for Delicata Squash and Gruyere Dip from The Kitchn.
Happy Fall Cooking! Buy organic!
Image: Laurel Fan