Grace your Thanksgiving table with the perfect side dish…Roasted Delicata Squash!
It’s PERFECT in very way……deliciously sweet and satisfying, eye-poppingly beautiful, nutritionally dense and easy to prepare. And to top it all off, there is no need to peel it. Although I’ve been enjoying Roasted Delicata Squash for a few years now, I still get a twinkle in my eye when I first spot it in the mound of winter squash available this time of year in the supermarket.
Roasted Delicata Squash
- 3 delicata squash
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 Tablespoon per sheet pan
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Remove the stem end of each delicata squash. Secure each squash on the counter, and slice it in half lengthwise . Scoop out the seeds, and cut each half into ¼ to ½ inch slices. Place the squash slices on one or more sheet pans making sure that they do not overlap.
- Drizzle olive oil over the squash slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Toss the squash with your hands to make sure that each slice is coated with oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast the squash in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the underside of each slice is nicely browned and caramelized and the squash pierces easily with a fork. If you prefer both sides to be browned, turn the slices half way through the cooking time or when the undersides are browned
When I purchased this squash, the woman behind me in the checkout line asked if I was planning to decorate with it. This reminded me that not everyone is familiar with delicata squash. Although it was first introduced in 1894, it fell out of favor during the Great Depression, but demand resurged in the late 1990’s. It took me some years after that to discover it myself, and now I can’t imagine fall without it.
You’ll need the following ingredients for this Roasted Delicata Squash…
- 3 Delicata squash
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Prep is super easy…
The skin of the delicata is soft and edible, hence the name. That makes preparation very easy. Carefully cut off the stem end of each squash. At this point, I may decide to cut it in two different ways depending on my mood. I love the look of the completely round slices below, but the preparation is a bit more time consuming. Cut the whole squash into ¼ to ½ inch thick slices and remove the seeds with a round cutter.
These are my Ateco Plain Edge Round Cutters In Graduated Sizes which I use for many applications, but you could use a spoon or a melon baller with less exact results. If using the round cutters, choose the ones that allow you to cut out the seeds without cutting too far into the flesh. Depending on the uniformity of the squash, several different sizes could be used.
Another option for cutting the squash is to stabilize it on your counter and slice it lengthwise top to bottom. Then scoop out the seeds with a spoon and slice each half into ¼ to ½ inch semi-circles.
Once you have your slices prepared, remove them to a bowl or directly to a sheet pan or sheet plans. Make sure that the slices do not overlap. Each piece should have its own space on the pan. Drizzle the squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. About 1 Tablespoon of olive oil per sheet pan should be enough.
Toss the squash with your hands. Using your hands will allow you to make sure that each slice is nicely coated with the oil, salt and pepper. My preference is to do the mixing right on the sheet pan and therefore have one less bowl to wash. I don’t line my sheet plans with foil, parchment or a silpat for roasting vegetables because I prefer the deep caramelization that the unlined sheet pan allows to occur……..crispy edges! A little more scrubbing is needed in the sink, but it’s worth it.
Roasting is a cinch…
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Roast the delicata squash for 20 to 30 minutes or until the undersides are brown and the squash pierces easily with a toothpick or fork. Turn the slices half way through the cooking time or once the undersides are brown if you prefer both sides nicely browned.
Enjoy the Roasted Delicata Squash as a PERFECT Thanksgiving side dish or as I often do, as a snack with your favorite dip. Try it with this Oil-Free Romesco Sauce.
Things you might like to know about this recipe for Roasted Delicata Squash…
Delicata Squash is also known as bohemian squash, peanut squash, and sweet potato squash. Its taste is a cross between sweet potatoes and butternut squash. The skin, which is edible, is pale yellow with green stripes. Its shape is oblong, and it is in season from late summer through late fall. It is a good source of potassium, iron and Vitamins A and C.