I love all kinds of squash but the winter varieties are my favorite and of these, the DELICATA is probably my top pick. It has a thinner skin (hence the name delicata) which is to be eaten-no peeling required. And it’s not as round as the other squashes, so it’s easier to handle.
My favorite way to cook these gems is to simply roast them either in the oven or airfryer, which cuts about 10 minutes off cooking time.
This recipe serves 4-6 (I do like to have some extra on hand to throw into a salad)
- Pre-heat oven to 400
- Simply cut the ends of two squashes
- Then cut in half lengthwise, scoop the seeds out.
- Then slice them into ¼ inch pieces.
- Throw the slices into a bowl or a baggie along with 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp Real Salt, ½ tsp garlic powder and 2 Tbsp of fresh thyme. Toss everything together, thoroughly coating the squash.
- Place the seasoned squash on a baking rack covered in parchment paper (or if you’ve run out of paper, a Trader Joes’ bag, trimmed to one layer thick, works nicely-gotta be resourceful sometimes) and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Having said that, thyme does add another dimension in flavor and I have to mention that like so many herbs, it has medicinal and healing properties for your gut and immune system. It acts as an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent and can disrupt biofilms (something some bugs make and cover themselves with for survival). It’s the perfect season to be getting as much fresh thyme in as possible.
I personally love pairing this with a piece of chicken or an arugula salad with goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, sliced red onions, and roasted/salted pistachio nuts. You can make your own dressing or use TJ’s organic ranch dressing. (which can also be used as a dip for your roasted squash). I guarantee your picky eaters will be inhaling this fall/winter treat.
For those of you who are cutting back on grains, this is a great way to still get the starch and fiber your gut needs to stay happy and healthy.
Oh! And BTW! TJ’s sometimes has already sliced Delicata squash, making this side dish super easy to throw together for just yourself or your family. Look for it in the produce section.
Enjoy this fall season as we naturally move towards denser, richer, savory foods.