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:
You don’t have to be Hercules to cut it open.
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
1 delicata squash
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
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.