I have only recently been introduced to this wonderful winter squash called 'Delicata'. What drew me to this particular squash is not only its striking stripes, but the fact that the label said the skin was edible. I was intrigued and decided to try it. Once I came home with my striped beauties, I was on a search for a way to prepare them in a way that would make the squash the centerpiece of attention. So soups and stews were out, as there are too many more aggressive players in that game. I settled upon the idea of simply roasting it. I had some beef kebabs marinating in a soy-orange-garlic base (more on that later), so I decided to keep with the asian-inspired theme.
Why peanut oil, you ask? Well, I wanted a fat-base that had a lot of flavor. Butter is too mild, and olive oil with asian spices, not a marraige made in heaven, so I decided on some nutty peanut oil. And was I in for a treat! You won't believe the aroma coming from the oven. It was sensational. I can proclaim that the peanut oil was a hit! That said, I think sesame would work well too.
Verdict: The delicata squash was delicious! The crisp-chewy skin lent a fantastic structural contrast to the smoothness of the squash flesh. This squash really hold its integrity though. Leftovers were great, but I didn't dig the skin as much on day two. The crunchiness was lost, and the skin felt a bit tough.
Anyway, if you're looking for a nice alternative to butternut or acorn squash, delicata is your answer. Or if you end up with some in your Winter CSA basket, now you know what to do with it.
Asian-spiced Roasted Delicata Squash
4 delicata squash (about 2 lbs)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp chinese five-spice
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp peanut oil
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Scrub the squash well. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into 1/2 inch slices.
2. Toss the squash with the spices, salt, and peanut oil. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
3. Roast approx. 10 minutes. Turn the slices over and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the flesh is tender.