Delicata Deliciousness

Delicata SquashMost people rush through the produce department like their pants are on fire. It’s not a fear of veggies per se – more just a fear of not knowing what to buy or what to do with the darn thing once you haul it home.

Now, New Englanders love them some butternut squash and feel very comfortable cooking it, commonly roasted, pureed, or served as a smooth and creamy soup. We love it grated raw in a slaw, but it’s also good au gratin with lots of olive oil and Parmesan. But around January 28, we start getting that gaggy feeling at the sight of it.

Better to branch out into some of the other winter squashes – and the Delicata is a favorite. It’s that cylindrical one, rather on the small side, bright yellow with orange or green racing stripes. If you’ve never had it, you’re in for a treat. It’s sweet, cooks quickly, and best of all – you can eat the rind. No peeling! And that, and it’s canoe-shape, makes it perfect for stuffing and baking.

Fastest and easiest method is to roast it, which really highlights the sweetness of the squash. Then you can eat it hot, warm, or cold, or use it in salad. By the time the season is over (Delicata become harder to find by the end of December), we’re ready to get back to butternut, Hubbard, acorn, and their cousins.

Roasted Delicata and Shallots
(4 servings)

2 to 4 Delicata (depending on size)
4 large shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise
Olive oil, sea salt, and fresh pepper

Preheat the oven to 425OF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil.

Slice the squash lengthwise; remove the seeds with a spoon. Slice the squash into ½” half-moons.

Place in a bowl along with shallots. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat with the oil.

Spread the squash and shallots on the baking sheets. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning the vegetables once or twice, until soft and well-browned.

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