The gourds are delicious indeed, but they are covered in a thick, hard skin that can be hard to shell (butternut squash), OR you have to scoop out the flesh, and I always burn my hands because I can’t wait for it to cool properly (spaghetti squash).
Enter the somewhat-unknown but delicious delicata squash. Have you tried it? It’s a relatively small, striped hard winter squash.
I have big news: You can eat the skin! Technically you can eat the skin on any squash, but I find it tough, and the skin overpowers the tender squash. Not so much with delicata: the skin is thinner and more mild, and the flesh is creamy, a little sweet, and the squash gets delightfully caramelized while roasting.
You just slice lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, slice in half-moon shaped strips, roast (and only for 15 minutes) and eat. That’s it! It’s got a tender, mild flavor, only 40 calories per cup, and packs a whooping 4 grams of fiber. It’s high in cancer-fighting antioxidants like vitamins A & C.
It’s great with olive oil, rosemary and sea salt or butter and cinnamon. It goes well with milder meats like pork tenderloin or roast chicken, or if you eat grains, it’s good with wild rice and dried cranberries. Very fast & easy to prepare, and one of the more delicious winter squashes, in my opinion.
Oven Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe
2-3 delicata squash
2 tbsp Olive Oil, melted butter, or duck fat (butter yields the best flavor, bringing out the sweet and nutty notes of the squash)
Sea Salt, to taste
Wash the squash well, as you’ll be eating the skin (if you wish). Preheat oven to 425, and arrange rack low in the oven.
Slice the squash lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds. Slice in 1/2″ thick half moons.
Toss with your choice of fat and sea salt, then spread single layer on a baking sheet. You could also sprinkle with herbs like fresh thyme or chopped rosemary. Bake for about 10 minutes, then flip and bake an additional 8-10 minutes. When they’re slightly browned and tender, they’re done.
I’ve also used my spiral vegetable slicer to make delicata squash noodles, then pan fried the squash noodles in butter and sprinkled with cinnamon. Seriously delicious.
Have you tried delicata squash? How do you enjoy it?
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.