Maple-Roasted Delicata Squash
Easter is coming up this weekend, and families around the world are carefully planning out their holiday feast. If you’re still searching for that perfect side dish to compliment the ham headliner, or if you’re looking for a special something to take along to a gathering, check out this quick and easy recipe for delicious delicata squash.
Delicata squash, also known as sweet potato squash, is a lovely bridge between winter and summer squash. While it definitely has thicker skin than a summer squash (like a zucchini), it does not have the tough, leathery rind of your regular winter squash (think acorn or butternut). In fact, the skin of the delicata squash is entirely edible and imparts a lovely nutty flavour to the dish to compliment the delicate sweetness of the flesh. This edible skin means much less fuss, with no peeling before cooking or having to scoop insides out of outsides after cooking.
If that wasn’t enough to sell you on delicata squash, also consider that they cook MUCH faster than your average winter squash, meaning you can have a dish on the table in less than an hour. And for those who find the more traditional winter squashes difficult to break into and clean, you won’t have this issue with delicata squash. They are a cinch to slice, dice, and otherwise chop up, and just as easy to clean out.
It took me a while to source delicata squash, but am I ever glad I did! It is a rather long season vegetable, making it difficult to grow in this part of the world, and I have yet to see it at any of our local central Alberta stores. Thank goodness for Community Natural Foods. We don’t get down to Calgary as much as we would like, but when we do, this is definitely one of our stops to load up on all the necessities we can’t necessarily find locally/online. The good news, they carry delicata squash (along with several others – acorn, butternut, carnival, spaghetti, kabocha, etc.). The ones in stock right now are on the small side, but still oh so delicious!
Combined with my recent love affair with red onions, this recipe had no leftovers in our house! The onions add a rich caramel note to the roast squash while providing colour contrast and a healthy dose of prebiotic goodness. The maple does a lovely job of bringing out the sweetness and creaminess of the squash and compliments the the roasted onions nicely. The oregano adds good depth of flavour and can also be swapped out for thyme if you so desire. Replacing the olive oil with some good butter is another delicious variation to consider.
- 2 1/2 - 3 pounds delicata squash, halved and sliced approximately 1/4" thick
- 2 large red onions, halved and sliced approximately 1/4" thick to make half rings
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano (thyme also works well)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, to coat (or swap out for butter)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste
- salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir/toss well to coat the squash and onions evenly.
- Line two 9x13" baking pans with parchment paper and spread squash mixture evenly between the two.
- Bake at 425F for 30 minutes or until squash and onions are tender and browning, stirring periodically to ensure even roasting.
- Serve and enjoy!
With all this mapley squash and onion goodness, don’t forget about the seeds! Like other pumpkin and squash seeds, delicata squash seeds can be seasoned and roasted for your snacking pleasure, making this a zero waste dish. Recipe for those coming soon!
This recipe has been shared on Phoenix Helix AIP Recipe Roundtable.