Roasted delicata squash makes a great and easy side dish! I love it roasted with pecans and thyme along with a bit of freshly grated parmesan. It’s a perfect fall side, great for weeknights and for the holiday table.
Today I have for you one of my new favorite easy sides! I love eating seasonally and I love finding new (to me) vegetables to try.
Lately I’ve been seeing delicata squash at the farmers’ market and I thought it was just your basic winter squash, but I talked to the farmers and found out it was a lot more interesting. And that it is awesome roasted!
Since roasting veggies = win to me, I was totally all about this. So I bought some, cut it up, put it in the oven and tried it. Even though it was yummy as is with some salt and olive oil, I want to make it a little more interesting.
A little bit of thyme from my garden and a few pecans later and I had a recipe I couldn’t wait to make again and again.
And I hope you want to make it too!
Do you like delicata squash as much as I do?
Technically, it is indeed a summer squash and is closely related to the zucchini. But in reality it doesn’t know if it’s a summer squash or a winter squash. It’s confused, but yummy! 🙂
It has seeds you need to scoop out like a winter squash. And creamy, fine yellow flesh like a winter squash. And it even keeps more like a winter squash, not all winter, but it will keep for a couple of months if kept in a cool, dry place and properly sanitized. But the skin is thin and easy to slice like a summer squash. And it doesn’t need to be peeled, like a summer squash.
Delicata squash is basically a winter squash with the ease of preparation of a summer squash. Win/win.
How about a little history?
Delicata was first introduced into the US in the 1890’s.
But it was a more perishable and less prolific version than we have today, so the rise of factory farming just about obliterated it. Like many of our heirloom varieties, a few people kept it going; however, it was likely to remain in obscurity or be lost. That is until some breeders at Cornell University got a hold of it.
Now this is the exciting bit, at least to me since I’m a food geek. They managed to create a disease resistant (less fungicide), high producing, open pollinated squash plant. This means that the seeds can be saved and still produce the same squash and the squash is easier to grow organically. They won a well-deserved award for their work.
History lesson over, it’s time to talk recipes and cooking. And delicata? Is tasty and easy to use and is just the right size for a side dish.
I already have plans to try it in a number of other recipes.
I hope you give this new-ish squash a try when you find it at the market!
– Happy Roasting, Annemarie
- 1 medium delicata squash, about 1 lb
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- thyme sprigs, about 5-6
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Cut the stem off the squash, slice the squash lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Slice it into ½ inch thick half moons.
- In a large bowl, toss squash with olive oil, thyme leaves, and salt, and then spread it out onto a baking sheet. Try to spread it out evenly so all the squash has a chance to caramelize against the baking sheet as it cooks.
- Place baking sheet in the oven and roast for 25 minutes, turning squash after about 15 minutes, or until the squash is soft and browned. An additional 5 minutes may be needed.
- Once the squash is done roasting, take the baking sheet out of the oven and sprinkle the pecans, parmesan cheese, and thyme springs over the squash.
- Return pan to oven and roast for another 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on it now! The pecans can go from nicely browned to burnt more quickly than you might think.