Delicious Delicata

Last night I made the most precious little squash.  Say hello to the delicata. 
While our friend came over to watch football, I made an easy dinner of whole wheat penne, pasta sauce, ground beef, and fresh basil and oregano.  Can I just say that I am so excited that my herb plants are still alive outside and I haven’t managed to kill them?  I think Basil even grew once I put him in a new pot!
Before I get into the squash, here is what I had for lunch yesterday:
-Ezekiel bread
– tomato
– fresh basil
Neil still hates this bread with a passion. He tries to throw it away whenever I get it.  I’m just glad there’s more for me 🙂  This sandwich was exactly what I was craving for a light lunch.  Some salt may have helped it, but I thought about it and then forgot.  It was still pretty delicious.
Our friend brought over a homemade cheese spread and nuts that we put on apples:
They were delicious!  Thanks Katy!
Now onto my squash adventure for the night.  Here is another shot of this cute little squash:
Delicata squash is a good source of:
– fiber
– potassium
– vit B & C
– manganese
– magnesium
The skin is also edible since it is so thin.  I am a big fan of anything that saves a prep step for me.  After cooked, it adds a bit of a crunch to go with the softness of the squash.  Perfect.
Things seems to be falling into place in the kitchen for me.  I never had a problem baking desserts, but it was making real food (think dinner) that I found daunting.  I tried making squash last year and I ended up with hard, partially cooked, horribly seasoned cubes.  It felt like sacrilege to butcher a wonderful squash that way. 
Without further ado:
Italian Delicata Squash

– 1 delicata squash
– canola oil
– sea salt
– pepper
– Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut the stem off the squash and then cut it in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds and toss or save to use later if you feel like baking them.
3. Cut each half into half moon slices about 1/2 inch thick and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I am loving parchment paper now that I have discovered it is not the same as wax paper!).
4. Brush each side with a small amount of olive oil or canola oil. I actually didn’t have a brush, so I just sprayed each side with a small amount of Pam (I didn’t know it was canola oil!)
5. Sprinkle each side with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, flipping the slices once in the middle of cooking.  When done, the squash should be fork tender.
Everyone was pretty pleased with the way this little squash turned out.  Feel free to alter the seasonings to the sweeter side with cinnamon or nutmeg and Earth Balance spread.  The squash itself seemed to have a bit of a sweet flavor, so playing up that side would probably turn out well.  
Now that fall is upon us, I will have to up my winter squash buying.  I have done spaghetti and now delicata, but I still have acorn and butternut to conquer this season.  
Question of the day: What is your favorite winter squash and how do you prepare it?

I hope everyone has a great Monday! Who else watched the Breaking Bad series finale last night? Thoughts?

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