Simply Delicata

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This is one of those keep it simple posts and a recipe that is hardly that. For those busy times when you want something with a little pizzaz but have little time or energy for complexity. There is truth in the phrase, “Keep it simple stupid” The KISS principal was popular in the 1970’s for design engineering and business practices. For in the kitchen, fresh honest flavors simply prepared can often trump the the most laborious recipe. There is no implication that the cook has no skill (i.e., stupid) but that the task is easy and streamlined.

Delicata squash are pretty on the outside, varying from creamy white with orange, yellow and green stripes to rich yellow orange. Their skin is thin and it is not necessary to peel, it cooks beautifully along with the buttery, nutty, and not-too-sweet flesh. A perfect foil to either savory or sweet treatments.

Delicata Squash Sliced

Their small size makes it a perfect side for two of four, cooked plainly in the oven cut side down with a bit of water for 20 minutes or so then drain and drizzle with your favorite olive oil, sprinkle a little truffle salt. Simply delicious.

Or if you have some leeks, shallots and mushrooms you can do what I did. While the squash was cooking I sautéed three leeks and a cup or so of cremini mushrooms in olive oil to soften, sprinkled with a tiny bit of salt and pepper. Then I removed the squash, drained my baking dish and set them cut side up, filled with the leek and mushroom mixture. For good measure I sprinkled just a bit of Parmesan cheese — not over loaded, just enough to kiss the topping and brown nicely. Back into the oven for another ten minutes to melt the cheese. Simple again and a very nice side dish for roasted meat.

Cooked Delicata Squash

What is your favorite simple go-to side this fall?


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