What to do with all this squash? part I

17 Oct

A Winter Squash Series: Delicata Squash

by Francine

Squash is plentiful, long lasting, festive and somewhat of a puzzle. It can be difficult to get through it’s sometimes-thick skin and figure out what to do with it. I decided to figure out this puzzle by picking up four wee squashes at the farmers’ market a few weeks ago. I’ve been researching each one and looking for recipes that are more than cut in half, scrape seeds, bake and top with butter. Stay tuned to find out what I did with each squash, as well as some fun facts.

Winter Squash Family Portrait

First up, Delicata squash. It’s an heirloom variety that has recently regained popularity. It has a thinner skin than other winter squash, which means it doesn’t keep as long as its thicker skinned relatives.  The farmer I bought it from told me she thinks it has a taste similar to sweet potatoes.

I clicked through a number of lavish recipes for this little guy. There are many decadent ways to prepare Delicata squash, as well as the possibility to turn it into a soup (which is always a good idea). But I wanted something that would allow me to really get a sense of its taste, so I decided to toss it in olive oil and bake until crispy.

  • I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds, then sliced it as thin as possible. (Before slicing the other half, I had an idea. I’d read that the skin is perfectly fine to eat, but I thought I’d try an experiment…I peeled the skin off one half while leaving the skin on the other half.)
  • After tossing in olive oil and spreading evenly on a tinfoil covered baking sheet, I sprinkled half with regular ol’ salt and the other half with sea salt and a blend of rosemary, bay and thyme (another experiment).
  • I put the tray of squash into our little convection oven at 325 degrees. After 15 minutes, the slices were beginning to brown and I gave them a flip.  After another 15 minutes, I gave the sheet a shake, then kept an eye on them until they seemed crispy brown.

Everyone wanted a taste as soon as they were out of the oven. The verdict: yum!

So how about my experiments? The slices with the skin…much nicer than the skinless ones. The slices sprinkled with an herbed salt blend…more flavourful than those with just salt. While they held up nicely once cooled, they were the best right out of the oven.

This is definitely a remake recipe. ItA photo of Crunchy Delicata Squash‘s easy, flavorful and sings fall. Find yourself some Delicata squash and give it a try!

Do you have any Delicata Squash recipes to share?  Do you like to try little experiments when you’re cooking?  We’d love to hear.

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3 Responses to “What to do with all this squash? part I”

  1. cheruko October 31, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    Your blog is lovely, and these look really good. I might have to give it a try with a kabocha squash. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • realocalcooking October 31, 2011 at 9:11 am #

      Thanks. We look forward to hearing about your try with kabocha squash.

  2. infinebalance November 20, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Delicata is one of my favourite squash – but hard to find at our grocery store. I love this idea of making crunchy little slices.

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