Unless you happen to be handy with a hatchet, butternut and other winter squashes are truly a pain-in-the-you-know-what. Am I the last person to find out about deliata squash? It is nothing short of miraculous, at least compared to other winter squashes, for two reasons:
You don’t have to be Hercules to cut it open.
You don’t have to peel it. The peel is edible and nutrient-packed.
The peak season for of this squash is from late summer through late fall, and you can store it for at several weeks at room temperature. It's a good source of fiber, potassium, iron, and vitamins A and C.
I’m offering a sweet-ish version, but if you wanted a more savory dish, you could omit the syrup and cinnamon and season with just salt and pepper, perhaps with some herbs, If you choose to do that, I recommend using extra virgin olive oil instead of canola. I added pomegranate seeds because after all, who doesn’t love tart little rubies sprinkled on their food? For Thanksgiving, if delicata is still available I might roast it with Brussels sprouts (if I cut the sprouts in half, I think everything will cook in the same amount of time) and add some chopped toasted pecans. Sounds good, no?
Roasted Delicata Squash with Cinnamon & Maple Syrup
1 delicata squash
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp maple syrup (or honey)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Wash the outside of the squash, and then dry it (so that the squash will brown and caramelize as it’s baking, rather than steam).
Cut off each end of the squash, and then cut the squash in half lengthwise.
Scoop out the seeds (if you happen to have one of those serrated grapefruit spoons, it makes easy work of this.
Combine the oil, syrup, & cinnamon, and brush that mixture over the squash halves.
Cut each half into ¼-1/2 inch slices.
Place the slices in a single layer in a shallow baking pan.
Put the pan into a cold oven, and turn on the oven to 400 degrees.
Bake for 10 minutes, flip the slices, and bake for another 10 minutes, until the squash slices are soft. The time may be shorter or longer, depending on the thickness of the slices and how long it takes for your oven to heat up.
One more alternative: just get take-out for the next two days. Call everyone you know, and tell them if they don’t vote, you’ll never talk to them again.