Okay, admit it. I’ll bet that more times than not, when you glance at the delicata squash at the market you think, “Wow that would make a lovely table decoration.” Don’t feel in the dark. It is a cool looking squash. And I am sure you are not alone. Here is the great news though. It tastes better than it looks, and you can eat the whole thing, skin and all. I guess that’s why they call it “Delicata,” although I have done no research to back this notion– just a hunch. This recipe is extremely easy, bringing delicata squash and fennel together like soul mates. Add this to your Thanksgiving menu or serve it as a quick and easy weeknight vegan meal. I recently featured winter squash on my nutrition blog in an article titled 10 Superfoods for your Autumn Grocery List. So dig in, and know you are getting some awesome nutrition. Oh, and you can serve this right out of the oven, or make it a couple hours ahead and enjoy it at room temperature.
roasted delicata squash, fennel & onions
1 delicata squash, seeds removed and cut into manageable strips or half circles
1/2 yellow or red onion, sliced
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, cored and sliced into strips
1 or 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, plus 1 tbsp. of chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tbsp. olive oil, separated into 1 tbsp. portions
1 tbsp. raw honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar (I used raw honey)
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. raw unfiltered cider vinegar
Seeds of half a pomegranate (optional for garnish)
Another sprig of rosemary (optional for garnish)
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400º F. Toss the squash, fennel, onion, sprig of rosemary, and half the olive oil together. Season with a pinch or two of salt and pepper, and place on a baking sheet so the mixture can be spread out in a single layer. This will allow it to brown properly when roasting. Roast, uncovered for about 30-40 minutes. Halfway through roasting, turn everything over and stir with a wide spatula, so it browns evenly on all sides. While the squash mixture is roasting, make the dressing by mixing the chopped rosemary, mustard, honey, and remaining olive oil. Set aside. When the squash mixture is done, remove it from the oven and let cool slightly. Toss the warm mixture with the dressing in a medium mixing bowl. Taste for salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving bowl or platter and garnish with the optional pomegranate seeds and rosemary.