I picked up a bush delicata plant at Molbak's Nursery last May, and stuck it in the garden to see what it would do. The plant itself flourished, though I think I should have hand-pollinated, because we only ended up with three of these wonderful heirloom squash.
I gave the first of the three to my friend Reema, because she actually knew what to do with a delicata squash. I was a little mystified about what to do with the other two, myself.
So I looked at them for awhile. They're really cute, actually, for squash.
And then, finally, I did this (inspired by some ideas from Reema - thank you Reema!) I oven roasted them with olive oil. And sea salt. And a little fresh ground pepper. And some fresh chopped rosemary. Then I topped it with feta. And I ate it. And now I'm mad that I was only able to grow three of these. Because it was delicious. The delicata squash has a, well, delicate flavor – a tad on the sweet side, especially when it carmelizes a little in the oven. The saltiness of the sea salt and the feta sets it off nicely. And the rosemary adds a nice extra note.
What a perfect fall side dish (heck, I'd do this one as a main dish).
Here's the recipe:
Roasted Squash with Rosemary and Feta
2 delicata squash
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/8 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Fresh ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare the squash.
Cut each squash in half, and scoop the seeds into the sink (or garbage or compost bin):
Slice into half-rounds, about 1/2 inch thick.
Drizzle a little of the olive oil onto a rimmed baking sheet, and throw the squash on. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle little sea salt and black pepper over the top, and toss it around with a spoon so that each piece of squash is fairly coated with the oil. Throw a little more salt on for good measure (but not a lot because the feta is nice and salty). And sprinkle the rosemary on top.
Bake for 20 minutes. Pull it out of the oven and flip the pieces over with a spatula. They should be getting some nice color on the bottom – yum!
Now put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so. My squash were on the small side, so you may want to go 5 to 10 minutes beyond that – just keep an eye on them.
They're done when most pieces have some nice brown color and they're soft all the way through.
Pull them out and place in a serving dish, then sprinkle the feta on top.
Update: This post is now featured in the Grow Your Own #37 blogging event! Be sure to check it out for many more ideas and recipes for your own homegrown food.