I discovered delicata squash this fall when I went apple picking in mid-October. I had heard of it but never actually seen it available anywhere locally so when I saw a bin full of these beautiful vegetables at Blackman Farms I was quick to pick out a few. Now I wish I bough more than a few but how was I to know if I would like them or not?
Delicata is easily distinguished by it’s yellow color and longitudinal green stripes. It is similar in shape and size to a large zucchini or summer squash and, although widely considered a winter squash, of the same species. It tastes something like a mix between a butternut squash and a sweet potato, with delicious yellow flesh. The skin is thin enough that it can be eaten with the meat inside, which makes it a cinch to prepare (it can be removed if preferred, however as it is a bit thicker than say, a zucchini’s skin). Delicata is most commonly roasted in halves or in half rounds. I have some experimenting to do with this vegetable since it is definitely now on my radar, but for my first attempt I didn’t want to mess with it too much.
And by not too much I mean that drizzling it maple syrup, cooking it with butter and seasoning it with thyme is not too much, haha. Anyway, it was delicious and oh so easy! And the maple butter was divine when the squash was cut and it ran out onto the plate. Yum yum yum.
Really you could season this anyway you wanted but I recommend adding a bit of sweetness to it, as I did with maple syrup, or you could use brown sugar. I found that this really brought out the natural sweetness of the vegetable without covering it up. Slice your squash half lengthwise, or into rounds or half rounds, scoop out the seeds, toss or rub with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and thyme, drizzle with maple syrup and and place a couple pats of butter in the middle cavity, roast it at 425 F for about 40 minutes (longer for more tender flesh) and you’re done. There. That’s the recipe, lol! Not sure if it’s really necessary for me to put an official recipe here but I will for the heck of it I suppose!
Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple Syrup and Thyme
- 1 medium to large delicate squash, rinsed and dried
- Olive oil
- Kosher or sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dried
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
- Slice the squash in half length-wise
- Scoop out the seeds. Discard the seeds or save them for roasting later like you would pumpkin seeds.
- Cut off the stem of each half
- Place halves cut side up in a roasting pan or on a cookie sheet
- Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt a pepper, rubbing the oil and seasoning over the surface of the squash
- Place 1 sprig of thyme in each half or sprinkle each with dried thyme
- Drizzle with maple syrup
- Cut the butter into pieces and place half in each squash half
- Roast for 30-50 minutes, depending upon how tender you want your squash to be. Test by poking with the tines of a fork