Sometimes Simple is Better – Roasted Delicata Squash

Delicata squash is a smaller squash that has a shorter shelf life than most.  It is oblong in shape, with a butter-colored skin, striped with dark green.  When I first tested this recipe I tried it with some of the usual squash accompaniments – maple syrup, nutmeg and butter.  It was good.  Then I tried it with just salt, pepper and olive oil and realized that all of these rich flavors are already part of this very versatile squash and it needs very little adornment. You can either eat or skip the skin.

Delicata SquashRoasted Delicata Squash

2 Delicata squash
1/4 teaspoon salt
several grinds of fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°.  Trim the ends off the squash and slice crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.  With a paring knife, scrape out the seeds of each slice and place flat onto a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast for 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.

Serves 4

The Fall Bounty – Creamy Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Creamy Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup onions, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash (or 1/2 butternut squash), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pear, peeled, cored and minced
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup sherry
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, over medium high heat, melt butter and sauté the onions, celery and garlic.  When they are translucent, add the squash, pear and nutmeg.  Sauté until the squash starts to stick to the bottom, stirring frequently and then add the sherry, chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is very tender, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a blender and puree.  Freeze for up to 6 weeks.  When you are ready to serve, bring to a simmer in a medium saucepan and then add the cream.

Serves 8