One of the things we are so fortunate to experience when participating with a CSA is being exposed to new things. This week, let’s look at Delicata Squash!
This pretty squash seems to be the Grand Master of ushering in the Fall bounty of produce. Though it is a hard squash, unlike most, the ‘rind’ can be eaten, therefore making it much easier to prepare.
My favorite way to cook the versatile hard squashes are roasted in the oven. Despite the different sugar level & the moisture content of the squash you might be working with, the oven seems to bring out the best in any squash.
I like to keep Delicata’s in my kitchen for a pretty Fall display, when the summer has come to an end. But you will find the attached recipe’s will feature your squash, but embrace the Summer harvest.
Creamy Delicata Squash Dip
Uses from Broad Wing Farm Share(s): Delicata Squash, Summer Squash, Onion, Tomatoes, Sweet Italian Peppers
Shopping List: 8oz container Sour Cream, Fresh Bunched Thyme, Garlic Bulb,
1 qt Vegetable broth, Pita Chips
Special Equipment: Parchment Paper, Food Processor or strong blender
1 Delicata Squash | cut in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out (save for the next recipe!)1 onion | Chop into large pieces, about 1 inch in size 4 large cloves garlic | ends trimmed (put in your freezer bag!)Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Salt & Pepper to taste | ½ bunch thyme | remove leaves from stems, (put stems in your freezer bag!)Sour Cream | Vegetable Broth | 1 summer squash, 2 large slicer tomatoes, 1-2 sweet Italian peppers | cut into bite sized pieces, good for dipping
Pre-heat oven to 375; if you have convection, use this setting.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set the squash halves on the baking sheet face up. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, & with your fingers, spread the oil to coat all the surfaces of the squash. Sprinkle salt & pepper on the inside halves of the squash, flip them over, & sprinkle salt & pepper again.
In a small bowl put your chopped onion & whole garlic gloves. Drizzle with olive oil & mix to coat. On another baking sheet, (lined again with parchment) spread the mixture out in an even layer, sprinkle with salt & pepper.
In the heated oven, put your squash on the center rack. Place your onion mixture on the bottom rack. Set timer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, you will see your onion & garlic start to brown. Stir it up a bit with a spatula, & return the pan to the oven, this time on the top rack. Set timer for another 20 minutes.
When done, the squash should be soft, easy to pierce with a fork. Remove it from the baking sheet with tongs & place it in the food processor with your browned onion & garlic mixture. Add the thyme & a splash of vegetable broth, & blend. When starting to become smooth, but still a bit stiff, add a spoonful of sour cream. Blend again. Add more sour cream as you go, until the consistency is creamy, but still firm. Serve along side pita chips & sliced veggies!
**Try a couple delicious variations of this:
Crispy, Salty Delicata Squash Seeds
Uses from Broad Wing Farm Share: Delicata Squash SEEDS
Shopping List: Kosher Salt, Coconut Oil
All the seeds you pulled out of the squash |Coconut Oil | 2 tbsp (or more)Kosher Salt |
Pre-heat oven to 350; if you have convection, use this setting.
Put squash seeds in a medium sized bowl & cover with water. Use your fingers to separate the seeds from the membrane. Seeds will fall to the bottom & the membranes will float. Remove membrane & discard & drain seeds from water. Repeat process if necessary, to ensure all seeds are membrane free.
Place drained seeds on several layers of paper towels or a couple of clean kitchen towels & dry completely. Put seeds in a small bowl.
In a small pan heat the coconut oil just until it starts to liquify. Pour oil over seeds & quickly toss with your hands or a spatula to coat the seeds completely in oil. Add more oil if needed. Toss in Kosher salt to taste.
Put the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put in oven, & bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove, stir the seeds, & return to the oven. Repeat this process until the seeds are crispy, but not brown or burned; about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
When seeds are crispy, remove from oven & sprinkle again with Kosher salt immediately. Allow to cool before snacking…. If you can.
Uses from Broad Wing Farm Share: Delicata Squash, Tomatoes, Sweet Italian Peppers, Summer Squash, YOU PICK:> Fresh Basil, Ground Cherries
Shopping List: 8oz Fresh Mozzarella, Garlic Bulb, Sherry Vinegar, Balsamic Glaze***
1 Delicata Squash | Seeds removed (save for the previous recipe!), cut in half lengthwise2-3 Sweet Italian Peppers | Seeds removed & discarded, chopped into bite sized squares2-3 Summer Squash | Trimmed (put ends in your freezer bag!) chopped into large bite sized piecesExtra Virgin Olive Oil | 4 tbsp, separatedSalt & Pepper | Sherry Vinegar | 2 tbspAll the tomatoes in your share | Chopped into large bite sized pieces, &/or cut in half & quartersAbout 1 cup ground cherries | Husks removed & discarded, Cherries washed, large ones cut in half1-2 cloves garlic | Ends trimmed (put in your freezer bag) & chopped fineFresh Basil | Leaves removed from stems, stems discarded & chop leaves to yield about ½ cup of chopped basil8 oz Fresh Mozzarella | Cut into cubes, or left whole if you purchased the small Perlini style mozzarella, cut Ovalini balls in halfBalsamic Glaze | ***or make your own by reducing balsamic vinegar over low heat in a medium saucepan until vinegar becomes syrupy. Note when it cools, it will thicken further.
Pre-heat oven to 350; if you have convection, use this setting.
Take Delicata halves & cut those halves in half again lengthwise. Slice these into semi crescents, about 1/2” in width. Put in a medium bowl. Add your prepared summer squash & sweet peppers. Drizzle in 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, & pepper & toss to coat evenly. Drizzle in Sherry Vinegar & toss again.
Layer vegetables on a baking sheet & put on the center rack in the oven. Set timer for 15 minutes. Remove sheet, stir veggies, noting doneness of Delicata squash. Return to oven & roast again, just long enough for Delicata to cook all the way through.
Remove from oven & place baking sheet in fridge to cool.
Prepare your tomatoes, garlic, basil, & mozzarella. Put these items in a large presentation salad bowl. When the squash mixture is cool, add to tomato mixture & toss.
When ready to serve, drizzle on a generous amount of balsamic glaze & sprinkle with flake salt & fresh pepper. Serve alongside a baguette or add croutons if you’d like! Also delicious over a bed of greens such as Arugula, or that yummy Sumer Greens Mix the Lion’s Share has received.