Why Didn’t I Know About Delicata Squash?

Why Didn’t I Know About Delicata Squash?

I have always loved various types of squash.  But when fall arrives, it brings back memories of my mom baking acorn squash with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  She would split one in half, take out the seeds and fill each half with a little brown sugar dotted with butter.  Then she would sprinkle cinnamon on top and bake them until the sugar carmelized and the squash flesh was tender.  Good thing Dad didn’t like acorn squash, because she and I would each quickly devour one of the halves!

But recently, I discovered another winter squash that has won me over—Delicata Squash.  I don’t know how I missed out on this delicious variety in the past, but somehow it escaped me.  I was standing in line at the grocery store when the woman in front of me was purchasing a long yellow squash with orange stripes.  When I asked her what it was like, she said that it reminded her of a cross between a butternut squash and a sweet potato.  She also pointed out that the delicata squash has the advantage that its skin is tender enough that you can eat it.  I was sold.  Imagine the flavor of a butternut squash without needing to peel it!

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I decided to cook the squash in two ways.  I cut one in half and the other one I cut crosswise into rounds.

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Next, I decided to use a round cookie cutter to remove the seeds from the rounds.

Squash_2014-09-21_007A paring knife was handy to scrape off any remaining strings.  This turned out to be an easy way to create squash rings. 

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I must admit that at this point they reminded me of onion rings, so I started wondering if I should batter them and fry up a batch, but I decided to finish this experiment first.

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Now it was time to combine butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little fresh grated nutmeg.  I used a fork to mash the mixture until the ingredients were evenly distributed.

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Then to the messy part!  I spread the butter and sugar mixture on the top surfaces of the squash.  Note that I couldn’t resist baking acorn squash at the same time 🙂

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