Friday, September 29, 2017

Delicata Squash – They’re Not Just for Decorating Anymore

I always look forward to seeing delicata squash appear in the Fall, but with that comes a certain amount of frustration, since I’m pretty sure there are plenty of shoppers who walk right past it, thinking it’s some sort of decorative gourd. They do look like those ornamental cornucopia fillers, which is why I’ve been tempted to walk up to people at the market, who I’ve seen look at these, but not put in their basket, and tell them what a big mistake they’re making. Of course I haven't, since that’s just not done.

The point is, not only would these dress up any holiday table, but they're also absolutely delicious, uniquely textured, and easy to prepare; as long as you don’t cut off a finger. Much like our friend the butternut squash, these are very hard, and you have to be extremely careful when cutting. I think the technique shown herein is a pretty safe way to go, since your fingers are well away from the blade.

Once prepped, season to your liking, with salt and oil being the only mandatory ingredients, and then roast in a hot oven, until tender, and as caramelized as you like. I usually don’t flip halfway through, since I’d rather have one really crusty side, than two sort of crusty sides. Once baked, these can be served hot as a side dish, room temperature as a snack, or cold in a salad. Regardless of how you enjoy them, I hope you give these roasted delicata squash a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 portions:
1 large delicata squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
cayenne pepper to taste
- Roast at 450 F., for about 12 to 18 minutes, depending on how thick your slices are.
-- My “Pumpkin Spice Aioli” was mayonnaise, seasoned with garam masala, turmeric, and hot paprika to taste.


spicychickenwings said...

Chef John! If you use one of those broad, cleaver-shaped Chinese vegetable knives to do your cutting, you can just tilt it horizontally and use that to scoop up your goodies instead of having to use a bench scraper. Saves up on washing afterwards too!

Melanie said...

This looks delicious - I love baked squash but admit skipping this one as I wasn't sure how easy it was to prepare. Thanks for correcting me!

I've never seen a textured baking sheet like that - what brand are you using?

Unknown said...

I was at Trader Joe's yesterday and sure enough, saw these beauties. I probably would never had given them a second glance, but I had just watched your video and so I was inspired! They were delicious!! Thanks for the great intro!

Unknown said...

Tried to go to the 2007 video on how to hold the knife. The link in the video went to dashdot. I could not find your video. I think you could show us your samuri knife skills again.

Unknown said...

Perfect timing! I just got two small delicata squashes in a CSA box, and was wondering what to do with them. This is so simple, but yet turned out so delicious. I ended up making some Sriracha mayo to dip them in and it worked great.

Unknown said...

Just a suggestion on splitting the squash. After trimming the ends you can turn the squash on to one of the flat ends and then split it like a log. The knife goes through easily and it is very safe.

Rohan Kamath said...

Hi Chef John,
I tried the recipe and it was DELICIOUS. I served it in a bed of roasted baby heirloom tomatoes and modified the recipe a little bit. Do check it out and let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

Sajjan Sarkar said...

I made this yesterday and it came out yumm although it took about an hr in my oven to get the same caramelization as Chef John... thank you for introducing me to what is now my favorite squash!

Unknown said...

I was one of those people who thought they were decorative gourds. After your video I bought one to try out your recipe and it is everything you said it was. The texture is creamy but the skin gives it a little firmness and the flavor is divine.

klansea said...

We made these yesterday as a Thanksgiving snack for our pre-dinner festivities and the only regret was that we didn't make more of them! I would have never bought this squash if it wasn't for this video so thank you!!
We had a hard time getting them to brown on the one side. We used a dark baking sheet lined with parchment paper and had to leave them in for over 25 min before we decided to take them out before they went to mush. Any suggestions for next time?

Thank you again for this wonderful recipe!!

Gingercrys said...

Delicata Squash is now my #1 favorite squash! Thanks to you!

lemonbomber said...

Our local farmer had a huge batch of these come in this year and I gave him this recipe too.
I always thought these were just for decoration. Very very tasty and easy to make.