Hey folks, I'm so happy that we're finally in Delicata season. While technically Delicata is a "winter" squash, it always is ready in the late part of the summer. Yes it is almost Labor Day and some of our kids are going back to school, but it is still summer for a few more weeks!
Simple Baked Delicata
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Bake at 375 in a baking dish for about 30-35 minutes depending on how big your squash is. I also put a little water in the pan to gently steam it. If you like you can flip over in the last 10 minutes of baking so all the moisture evaporates leaving a nice roasty flavor. Serve with fresh butter, salt and pepper.
Delicata is versatile so if you'd like a little saucy bit to jazz it up I'd suggest this:
Roasted Garlic, Hazelnut and Parsley Pesto
While you have the oven on, wrap a head of garlic in aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Also put about a 1/4 cup of hazelnuts in there on a pan to roast. The nuts will only take about 5-7 minutes, when you smell them you know they are ready. While the nuts are still warm place them in a clean kitchen towel and give them a good roll around. This will take off the skins. In a cuisinart or mortar and pestle combine the nuts and the garlic. Simply slice off the top of the head of garlic and squeeze out all the luscious, creamy garlic. Add a roughly chopped bunch of parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Adding the zest of the lemon is also quite nice and helps brighten the richness of the garlic and nuts. You can also add about a 1/4 cup of grated parmesan if you like. Season with salt and whiz it up, slowly adding olive oil until it is the consistency you like. Drizzle over your Delicata and some crispy skin pan roasted chicken thighs.
Delicata Stuffed with Chard, Chorizo and Shishitos
Prepare your delicata as above and bake. While that is in the oven brown some chorizo sausage and add in some sliced shishitos. When just about cooked through add in some chopped chard and cook until tender. Fill up your little delicata boats with this mixture and top with a yummy mild melty cheese like Monterey Jack and pop back into the oven until the cheese is melty and golden. This is such a great combination of sweet squash, spicy sausage and creamy cheese. It has got fall written all over it!