“I hate squash. You couldn’t pay me to eat it.” So said my friend Melissa. “Five bucks says you’ll love this,” I replied, handing over one of the slices of delicata squash you see below. She ate it — and liked it.
What’s there not to like? You can even eat the skin. (In fact, it’s my favorite part.) As far as I’m concerned, delicata squash, simply roasted with olive oil is better than candy. Don’t believe me? Just try it yourself.
I’m amazed how many people aren’t familiar with delicata, common though it may be, especially this time of year. “What is that?” I’ve been asked after bringing a platter to a potluck (note: they’re almost as good at room temperature as they are hot from the oven). What do you do with those?” a checker at my neighborhood grocer wondered when my squash rolled down her check-out lane a few weeks back. Here’s what I do:
I buy two delicata (about 1 pound each). Torque my oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the squash clean with a vegetable brush. Slice off the ends, cut the squash into 1/2-inch rounds, and use a paring knife to remove the seeds.
Alternately, you could cut the squash lengthwise and use a sturdy spoon to scoop out the seeds, then make half-moon slices (that’s easier). Or cut it lengthwise and bake each half intact, like blogger Molly Watson did in this recipe.
Next, I spill some olive oil onto a rimmed baking sheet, flip the squash over so each slice gets oiled, season liberally with salt and pepper and roast until they’re brown and caramelized (40 minutes, more or less), turning once half-way through.
So, tell me pumpkin: What’s your favorite squash? And how do you like to prepare it?