Roasted Delicata Squash (and Brain)

Because a recent spice experiment with delicata squash fell a little flat, I’m going to forego an original recipe and just push the vegetable.  It caramelizes beautifully, kicks butternut to the curb in terms digit-retention when chopping and all around flavor, per Apt 8 consensus, and it comes in a neatly portable Wawa shortie hoagie size. There’s very little waste because you eat the skin, and the seeds do extraordinarily well when prepared in pumpkin seed fashion. Matt likes it so much that I roast big pans of it that disappear in about a day and a half.  From the closed fridge. While we’re at work. City mice are crazy delicata aggressive.

(Also, sisters – remember when Dad would take creative license when bellowing out the theme song because he couldn’t remember the words? “They’re laboratory mice! They like soy sauce with rice!”)

Simple roasting instructions are below. The squash lends itself well to experimentation (though not all spice combinations are winners, as in my case), but I trust this culinary professional implicitly and am planning her preparation for next time.

Roasted Delicata Squash (and seeds)

2 delicata squashes
Large-flake kosher salt
Olive oil, depending on the size of your squashes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Scrub the exterior of the squashes well as you’ll be eating the skins after they are cooked. Cut off both ends, then slice in half vertically. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and reserve to the side. Cut the squash into 3/4 inch slices, put in a large bowl, and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, and then toss to coat.

Arrange on a metal baking sheet, with the flesh of each slice (rather than the skin) touching the baking sheet – this will maximize caramelization. Bake for 15 minutes, flip the slices using a fork, and then bake for another 15 minutes or until the edges are browned and the squash is cooked through.

The seeds can be prepared just like pumpkin seeds – toss in an oil with your seasoning of choice, spread into one layer on a baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes in an oven at 300 degrees until lightly browned. Keep a close eye on them while they cook to avoid burning. Some nice flavor combinations (plus salt) include coconut oil and cinnamon; olive oil and spicy paprika; olive oil, chili powder, and a spritz of lime juice after cooking.

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