The best squash in the world!

Happy Thanksgiving y’all. Today I’d like to share something I’m thankful for, which is the discovery of the BEST kind of squash. I had never heard of or seen this type of squash until it showed up in my farm share last year, and the first time I tasted it I knew I was in love. The prep is SO quick as the skin is edible (and tasty!) and it cooks in about 20-25 minutes. It is so sweet you don’t even need brown sugar! 

What is this magical, earth shattering, life changing squash you ask ? Where can you find squash that is ready to go in the oven before it is done preheating and so tasty everyone will fight for the leftovers? 

One word folks: Delicata.

 

named for it’s delicate (edible) skin

 
Once I learned of their exsistance I began to notice them more and more at roadside stands and farmers markets. I buy 4 or 5 at a time as they are such a great addition to any dinner and cook in the same amount of time as many meats. 

So get your hands on some delicata today and let me know what you think! This isn’t so much of a recipe as a recommendation to try this delictable winter squash (pun intended) and then tell me how it changed your life.

 

a healthy alternative to onion rings!

 
Roasted Delicata Squash Rings

Use 1/2 delicata squash per person.

Preheat oven to 425f.

Line cookie sheet with parchment.

Scrub squash and cut in approximately 1/2″ rings.

Scoop or cut out seeds.

Toss in enough melted butter to coat and salt and pepper (nutmeg is nice too- not to much). You can do this in a bowl or on a cookie sheet. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes and then flip and cook for another 10 minutes or until nicely browned. 

Enjoy!

Easy Butternut Squash or Roasted Carrot Soup

If you keep a few boxes of chicken or vegetable stock on hand, this recipe is a great backup for nights there is no meat in the house and squash (or roasted carrots) are easily accessible. Adapted from Alton Brown’s squash soup.

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1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped in pieces, or 8 washed carrots with tops and bottoms chopped off

1 carton/box of chicken or veg. broth

1 shallot, quartered

1 small onion, quartered

2 cloves of garlic, halved

1 quartered sweet pepper, any colour (optional)

1-2 pieces of celery (with leaves if possible)

3 slices of fresh Ginger, minced (or if you freeze yours 3/4 tsp or so of ginger, grated) or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons  butter

1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

Fresh cracked pepper and salt

2 tsps. spice mix (roasting spice, or mix of thyme, rosemary, oregano, and onion powder)

1/4 cup heavy cream (or you can go as low as 10% if you need to)

Dollop of creme fresh or grated Parmesan (opt)

Chopped chives, parsley, or candied pecans (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 f.

In roasting pan combine onions, shallots, squash or carrots, sweet pepper, garlic, and celery. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, roasting spices, honey, ginger, and dab with butter.

Roast for 45 min

You want there to be a nice browning/caramelization but not too soft.

STOVETOP: Transfer to sauce pan (or use dutch oven for entire recipe) and pour in broth. Bring to a boil over high then reduce to medium and simmer 30 min-1 hour. Use hand blender to blend either completely or leave some lumps for texture. Temper cream by adding a little bit of the soup to the cream slowly until it is heated to the temp. of the soup then add all the cream.

CROCKPOT: Transfer to crock pot and pour in broth. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or 2-4 hours on high. Use hand blender to blend either completely or leave some lumps for texture. Temper cream by adding a little bit of the soup to the cream slowly until it is heated to the temp. of the soup then add all the cream.

Serve hot with the optional garnishes with crusty bread or honey cornbread and salad.  Makes great leftovers.

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