Spin on a Classic: Twice Baked Delicata Squash
|Right Food for the Season - Late Fall|
|Written by Lauren Klatsky|
Delicata squash is my “go-to” winter vegetable when I’m in a hurry. It cooks a lot quicker than other varieties of the Cucurbita (aka. gourd) family and can even be prepared in the microwave in a pinch. Another bonus is that I don’t have to pull out my extra large Chef’s knife to cut through its relatively narrow body and thin, edible skin. Delicata’s moist interior is easy to mash by hand with a fork so you don’t have to dirty an electrical appliance to achieve a silky texture.
All these attributes coupled with its cute, oblong shape begs the cook to treat Delicata squash like a baking potato. A couple weeks ago, Jon planted the idea of making a “Twice-Baked Delicata Squash” in my head. My mind immediately started racing through all the culinary tactics I know to overcome the textural differences of the two vegetables. Roast a Delicata squash till it caramelizes and you’re left with super sweet but mushy flesh. The skin also becomes too pliable to stuff and serve in an attractive manner. So I decided to stuff a raw squash with the goodness of a cooked & seasoned one. I baked the whole thing till the uncooked “shell” was tender and “twice-baked” filling golden brown on top.
I omitted the typical milk, butter, and sour cream to compensate for the delicata’s greater moisture content. And I added a whole egg to thicken the soft, cheesy squash filling. To allow the vegetable’s sweetness shine, the recipe is light on seasoning. Feel free to garnish this dish with sour cream, bacon bits and chives as you would the traditional potato rendition.
Twice-Baked Delicata Squash
2 medium Delicata squash (try to pick two that are roughly the same size)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or Parmesan)
1/4 sea salt, to taste
pinch of nutmeg (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squashes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place one, cut side down, on an oiled baking sheet and roast till tender and caramelized, about 35 minutes
Turn oven temperature down to 350 degrees. Scoop out the flesh of cooked squash and mash with a fork. Add egg and stir well to combine. Stir in cheese, salt & nutmeg, to taste.
Spoon seasoned squash filing into cavity of uncooked squash. Carefully place on baking sheet so they don’t tip over and cook until “shell” is tender, about 40-45 minutes.
Lauren Klatsky is a CIA graduate and currently works at Whole Foods Dedham where she is the Marketing Team Leader. This is Lauren's first article for Local In Season.