Delicata Squash: A Small Winter Wonder.

Delicata Squash

Delicata Squash. Image Credit: Wikipedia

Delicata Squash also called the Peanut, Bohemian, or Sweet-Potato Squash, is a winter heirloom with a sweet, delicate and nutty flavor. Originally introduced in New York, in 1894, the squash fell into obscurity after the 1920’s and has since come back with vigor in farmers markets across the U.S. The flesh, though firm, has a flavor of a sweet potato crossed with a peanut (hence the nicknames) and cooks to a wonderful creamy consistency, with a sponge-cake like appearance. It’s notoriously thin skinned, but varietal growers, and improved storage and transporation methods have made it easier for this squash to reach many different communities outside of it’s normal range. Best of all, the skin is edible. When cooked, the skin takes on the texture of eggplant skin, and helps to hold the delicate flesh together. The squash can be steamed, or fried, but my preferred method is pan roasting. Slice the squash across the grain in 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick slices, and scoop out the seeds to form a nice donut shaped service. Toss in olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt, dried herbs (I used Herbes de Provence) and then sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Place on a parchment lined sheet pan, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 min, or until golden brown. The results are a salty, sweet, nutty winter delight.

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