When you think about Thanksgiving meals the same foods come to mind: turkey, stuffing, cranberry, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes. If you're adventurous maybe Brussels Sprouts. Why not try something new on your table? Delicata Squash.
I'd never heard of or even tasted Delicata Squash until it appeared in our CSA harvest box last month. In fact, I initially mistook it for a new type of melon I'd ordered. But boy am I glad I tried making it before it went out of season (in California the end of season can be as early as the first week of November or into December).
For me the flavor of Delicata Squash reminds me of sweet potatoes. The upside being the flesh of the squash is more tender when roasted and not as fibrous. Another plus is that a sidedish of Delicata Squash takes under half an hour to prepare. You'll bake it for roughly fifteen to twenty minutes. How long your prep takes will depend on your knife skills.
Before you start slicing your squash, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. You'll need one baking sheet, a cutting board, a chef's knife, a gallon Ziploc bag, a spatula, and optionally a grapefruit spoon for scraping out the guts. Slice off the ends of your squash. Flip your squash on end and cut in half. Scrape out the guts from each half. Flip over the halves and cut into quarter-inch slices. Speed is not important; consistency in the depth of the slices is important for them to cook evenly.
Place all your slices into a gallon Ziploc bag. Add two tablespoons of olive oil. Add Kosher salt to taste. Close the bag and shake until evenly coated.
Place the slices flat on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to turn over the slices and roast for 7 to 10 minutes until evenly browned.
One Delicata Squash roughly yields about three portions. As it's roughly the same amount of work to prepare two squashes as it is one, the second time I made this dish, I prepared two squashes. I found that I could completely fit all the quarter-inch slices from two Delicata Squashes flat on one baking sheet without crowding.
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.