Roasted Delicata Squash with Thyme (a Recipe with Bonus Sports Metaphors!)

Today in mah Serious Eats column: Chicken with Citrus Sauce. Mmm … citrus sauce.

My friend S is traveling the world in the coming months, visiting Ghana, China, Brazil, South Africa, and Mauritius ("more-IH-shuhs"), among other stunning locales. While I’ll miss her, there are many excellent things about her trip:
  • She’s expanding her horizons in ways most people only dream about. 
  • She’ll finally be able to say, “I went to Mauritius, bishes!”
  • I suspect that somehow, this will bring her one degree closer to Kevin Bacon.
  • After her immunizations, she will be immune to everything, like cowpox and ennui.
  • She’s giving me all her groceries.
This weekend, I became proud owner of a tin of smoked cheddar, a pound of pumpkin spice coffee, two packs of Laughing Cow cheese, and four eight-ounce delicata squashes. And everything was free. For a blogger obsessed with healthy, frugal food, this is akin to Luis Gonzalez’ bloop single off Mariano Rivera in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. (In other words: freakin’ fantastic for everyone, but particularly Mets fans.)

Though nothing's going to waste, I was most excited about the squash. Delicatas, besides being ever-so-slightly sweet and generally delicious, are also adorable. They possess yellow skin tinged with green stripes, making them look like tiny Green Bay Packers fans. (All they’re missing are cheese hats and Favre jerseys.) And? You can eat that skin. There’s no need to peel or scoop, which separates them from their steel-hided butternut kin. ("Steel-hided" is an awkward word, yes? Enh. We'll go with it.)

For this recipe, I went with a simple roasting preparation. It’s fast and duh-inducingly easy: a quick oiling and thirty minutes in the hotbox will give you caramelized flavor beyond your semi-wildest dreams. (Assuming that your very-wildest dreams don’t involve vegetables.) If you don’t have thyme hanging around, skip it and stick to salt and pepper. No one will be the wiser.

Alas, S received the squash from her last CSA shipment, and so I have no idea how much they cost. Based on the season, I’m assuming they’re pretty inexpensive right now. Feel free to punch me in the face if I’m wrong, though.

And that’s it. Welcome to 2010, everybody. Hope it’s as wonderful as a trip to Mauritius (bishes).


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Roasted Delicata Squash with Thyme
Serves 2.
Adapted from my friend S.

2 small (hand-sized, about 8 or 9 ounces each) delicata squash, washed and dried
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray

2) Slice stem ends off each squash. Then, slice each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop the seeds out using a teaspoon. Cut squash into 1/2-inch crescents.

3) In a medium bowl, mix squash, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Spread in a single layer on prepped cookie sheet. Roast 25-30 minutes, until browned, stirring 2 or 3 times throughout. Serve hot.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, and Price Per Serving
130 calories, 4.5 g fat, 3 g fiber, PRICE VARIES

2 small (hand-sized, about 8 or 9 ounces each) delicata squash, washed and dried: 180 calories, 0 fat, 6 g fiber, Unknown
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil: 79 calories, 8.9 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.08
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme: negligible calories, fat, and fiber, $0.05
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste: negligible calories, fat, and fiber, $0.03
TOTAL: 259 calories, 8.9 g fat, 6 g fiber
PER SERVING (TOTAL/2): 130 calories, 4.5 g fat, 3 g fiber, PRICE VARIES