I love to cook with squash. What I could do without is the prep work that goes into readying it for any recipe. Peeling away the tough skin, hacking into the flesh with a sharp knife…it’s a good thing the finished product is worth it the elbow grease. But then I discovered the delicata squash, whose flavor is not only incredible, but it has edible skin! Yes, you read that right. You don’t have to peel this lovely little vegetable. I first heard of the delicata awhile back and when I saw them at the farmers market a few weeks ago, I picked one up. (They’re the long, striped squash, usually yellow and green in color.) It had been sitting on my counter since then, waiting for me to figure out what to do with it. I finally had some time yesterday to research this and I came upon a recipe for squash fries on the blog Summer Tomato. We were having turkey burgers for dinner, so this would be a perfect side dish.
Oh wow. Summer Tomato’s blogger wrote about how utterly delightful the delicata squash tastes, but you really have to try one to get the full effect. This is quite possibly the best squash I have ever had. Just the right amount of sweet, with a texture that is soft without being mealy. Roasting them in olive oil gives the squash a beautiful brown color. (I followed Summer Tomato’s suggestion to roast them in a metal pan to promote browning, which is pretty much how I roast all veggies.) The squash slices are also a perfect finger food for little hands, making this an excellent side dish for the whole family!
Delicata Squash Fries (adapted from Summer Tomato)
1 largish delicata squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Run the squash under warm water and brush away any dirt with your hands or a veggie brush. With a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard or save for later roasting. Cut each half into 1/2 inch segments, creating moon-shaped pieces. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a metal baking sheet and coat in olive oil. Salt gently. Roast for 10 minutes, then turn the squash slices with a spatula. Continue turning the slices every 10 minutes, until both sides of the squash are brown and the texture is fork tender, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.