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Fall Fest 2010: Experimenting with Delicata Squash

Posted Oct 14 2010 6:53am
This fall, in accordance with my goal this year to try new foods , I've been experimenting beyond the typical acorn/butternut/spaghetti squash trio I normally use. Right now, I have a Hubba Hubba squash (isn't that the greatest name for a squash ever?) sitting on my counter waiting for me to be inspired, but a few days ago, it was a Delicata Squash.

Amazing, huh? I didn't think there was such a thing as a peel-able winter squash, but here you have it, folks. No super-sharp, extra-long knives or hack jobs just to get the peel off of this baby. Seriously, when it comes to ease of use in cooking preparation, this particular winter squash takes the cake, hands down. No contest! So if you want to add more winter squash to your autumn repertoire, but don't feel like spending the time and effort on cooking or boiling or roasting the squash just to get the peel off... this one's for you!

Here's how I prepped my delicata squash before including it in my dinner recipe.

First, wash and peel with any vegetable peeler or paring knife. 

Then, using a large, sharp knife, cut the squash lengthwise into halves. 

Up until this point, you might be thinking: "Is this really a winter squash? It seems more like a yellow summer squash!", but then you will look inside. And the fiber and seeds galore will tell you that, yes, my dear, this is indeed a winter squash!

Scoop out the seeds and fiber with a spoon and dispose of however you desire. 

Cut each half lengthwise into quarters:

Then chop those quarters into cubes:

Your delicata squash is now ready to be included into any recipe that calls for winter squash. Really, it can be used in almost any recipe that calls for vegetables! I actually cooked mine up into a chicken stuffing casserole ; I just replaced the zucchini with the cubed delicata.

My DH and I agreed that of all the winter squash we've tried so far, this one had the most pleasing texture, and blended perfectly into the casserole. In the past, we mostly ate our squash in puree form so that only the flavor (modified by whatever spices and sweeteners are added to the mix) remains, because we're not super fond of squash's stringy vibe. Eventually, my goal would be to get us to the point where we enjoy roasted squash straight up, and this little guy is my friend and support on the journey! I'm looking forward to trying this recipe to see if we like it just as well. (Incidentally, that recipe mentions that the peel is edible as well. Not sure I'm ready to take that plunge quite yet, but thought I'd let you know, just for information's sake!).

I'm so happy I could find for you a winter squash that is really and truly QUICK to prepare.

And EASY, too!

Delicata is the same price as all the other winter squash, so it's just as CHEAP as any of them. Around here, that means $0.99/lb or less this time of year.

Delicata shares the same nutritional qualities as other winter squash, meaning it's full of HEALTHY nutrients: vitamins A and C, fiber, and some vitamin B. The lighter color of its flesh does indicate a lesser presence of beta carotene, but that's the only drawback. It's low in calories and fat, so eat up!
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