Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Rosemary

Delicata Squash

Fall is here!! Anyone who reads my blog knows this is my most beloved time of the year. I'm slowly checking off my autumn bucket list. On my hopeful agenda this week and weekend is pumpkin picking, visiting a cider mill and maybe some apple picking too! 

Also on my list is stuffing my face with as many different varieties of winter squash as humanly possible. There are so many different varieties, each of them with different flavors and textures, and all of them are rapidly making their appearance at local markets. Amazingly I've never had a delicata squash before! This is a fail on my part, because it's delicious. Technically in the same species as summer squash, it has the texture and flavor of winter squash but with an edible skin that's both beautiful and tasty.

This dish is so simple, yet it would make an impressive side dish for any autumn dinner party, especially Thanksgiving. Sweet, savory, and creamy with a hint of maple and earthiness from the rosemary. Please promise you'll use 100% pure maple syrup in this. And if possible, definitely use the bacon fat instead of olive oil. You DO save your bacon fat, right...?

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Rosemary

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Rosemary
(makes 2-4 side servings)

1 medium-large delicata squash, or about 1.5-2lbs
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup melted bacon fat, or olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided
ground black pepper, to taste

1. Wash the squash well. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or nonstick foil.

2. Slice in half vertically and scoop out all the seeds. Slice each half into 1/4-1/2 inch slices and place in a bowl. Add the maple syrup, bacon fat or olive oil, salt, half of the rosemary and some fresh black pepper. Toss until all the squash is well coated. Spread the squash in one layer onto the prepared baking sheet. 

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning and tossing carefully 2 or 3 times, until brown and caramelized in places. Sprinkle with the remaining rosemary and additional salt, if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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