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A Delicata Time of Year

Unless you happen to be handy with a hatchet, butternut and other winter squashes are truly a pain-in-the-you-know-what. Am I the last person to find out about delicata squash? It is nothing short of miraculous, at least compared to other winter squashes, for two reasons:

  1. You don’t have to be Hercules to cut it open.

  2. You don’t have to peel it. The peel is edible (and nutrient-packed). 

The peak season for this squash is from late summer through late fall – shorter than for most squashes. You can store it at room temperature for up to 3 weeks. It’s a good source of fiber, potassium, iron, and vitamins A and C.

I’m offering a sweet-ish version with cinnamon, but you could do just salt and pepper, perhaps with some herbs, if you wanted a more savory dish. I added pomegranate seeds because after all, who doesn’t love tart little rubies sprinkled on their food? For Thanksgiving, if delicata is still available, I might roast it with Brussels sprouts (if I cut small sprouts in half, I think everything will cook in the same amount of time) and perhaps add some chopped toasted pecans. Sounds good, no?

Roasted Delicata Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 delicata squash

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  • Wash the outside of the squash, and then dry it or let it dry (so that the squash will brown and caramelize as it’s baking, rather than steam).

  • Cut off each end of the squash, and then cut the squash in half lengthwise.

  • Scoop out the seeds (if you happen to have one of those serrated grapefruit spoons, it makes easy work of this.

  • Cut each half into 1/2 inch slices.

  • Line a shallow baking pan with foil (optional, but it makes clean-up easier).

  • Put the oil on the foil, and smoosh it around.

  • Place the slices in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Rub them around in the oil.

  • Turn over the halves, and do the same.

  • Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. 

  • Bake for 7 minutes, flip the slices, and bake for another 5-7 minutes, or until the squash slices are soft.