Do you hate squash? If so, it might be because you haven’t yet tried delicata.
This stripy winter vegetable with a delicate (and edible) rind is indigenous to North and Central America. The flavor is lighter and sweeter than that of many other squashes; in fact, it is commonly cooked very simply as a side dish by roasting it in olive oil with a little salt and pepper.
You can also toast the seeds, much as you would toast pumpkin seeds, and either eat them right away or save them for snack later.
If you think you don’t like squash, give this a try anyway; you may be surprised.
Roasted delicata squash recipe – arches and seeds (vegan, gluten-free)
By Reeve Gutsell
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 min
1-2 delicata squash
3-6 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Thoroughly scrub and rinse the outsides of the squash in cold water, removing any debris and/or blemishes from the skin.
Cut the squash in half longways (top to bottom) and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. You can set the seeds aside to clean and toast or you can discard them.
Place the squash flat side down and slice into arches about 1/3″ wide.
Place arches on an oiled baking dish. Coat both sides of the arches in olive oil, with salt and pepper sprinkled on to taste. If you are toasting the seeds as well, remove the gunk from the seeds, rinse them in clean water in a colander, pat them dry with a clean towel, and coat them with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Place them on an oiled tray separate from the arches.
Put the arches (and the seeds, if using) in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes, then flip the arches and stir the seeds. The seeds are likely to be done before the arches, so keep an eye on them, stir again, and remove them when they are lightly browned on the outside – another 5-10 minutes.
Roast arches for another 10-15 minutes after flipping, until fork-tender and slightly brown on the outside.
That’s it – easy-peasy! The arches can be served right away. The seeds can be eaten hot (warning – allow to cool at least slightly or they may burn your mouth!) or set aside to cool completely* and be eaten later as a delicious and nutritious snack.
*Note: If you set them aside for later, be sure to allow them to cool thoroughly before storing – any remaining moisture needs to be allowed to completely evaporate or your seeds will be soggy and moldy instead of crispy and delicious.