What’s so good about winter squash? Everything! It’s super sweet in the most natural way and it’s simple to prepare…many varieties do not even require peeling.
One of my favorites is delicata. It’s not always available but if you look for it in your grocery store right now you might find it. Trader Joes had it last week for 99 ¢. The fool-proof universal root vegetable recipe calls for olive oil, sea salt and pepper. It’s pretty hard to mess up! You can always brush on a bit of melted butter and/or maple syrup for a richer taste. Delicata is so sweet the oil and salt will do the trick.
Preheat oven to 425 º. Wash and dry the squash. Cut in half length-wise and scrape out seeds. Then cut each section into 1/2″ half-moon pieces. Toss in a bowl with about 1 tablespoon olive oil (don’t use too much) and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread squash pieces in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes. Try this for a tasty vegetarian dish: Place baby spinach (one bag) on a large platter and top with 1 cup of cooked quinoa or millet. Layer with thin red onion slices, sprinkle with a handful of dried cranberries and the roasted squash. Drizzle warm balsamic vinaigrette over everything.
Butternut squash is a little more labor intensive because it requires peeling and it’s more difficult to chop. But the end result is always delicious. Assemble a salad topped with roasted butternut squash, red onion and avocado and serve along with grilled chicken or pork tenderloin.
Have you tried butternut squash noodles? If you have a spiralizer you can easily turn your squash into “pasta”. Toss the noodles with a small amount of olive oil to coat–1 tablespoon or so–and cook at 400° for 10 minutes. Top with your favorite tomato gravy or eat plain as a side dish with a little salt and pepper.