Dreaming of Delicata

by Marina Chotzinoff

In general I am a big fan of sweet, earthy, wonderful winter squash. But most pale in comparison to the amazing delicata. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it’s easy to cook, has a wonderful creamy texture and rich flavor. And, you can eat the skin. Skin you can actually enjoy unlike other skins you are supposed to eat and like but wish your mom would remove for you prior to desecrating your plate with its offensive leatherness.

And so when I saw some perfectly formed delicata yesterday I knew they’d become dinner. Enlisting the help of my daughter, I sliced them into rounds and she cut out the seeds with a small, round cookie cutter. We tossed them in a little oil and salt and roasted them for about 20 minutes at 425, flipping halfway through. I wanted to serve them with some mixed greens I had and decided to throw in some shrimp for heft. And, despite the cardinal sin of serving fish with cheese (which I always break because I think it’s stupid) I grabbed some Piave cheese. Finally since my husband always makes fun of me for having healthy “salads” doused in cheese, fruit and nuts, I topped it with toasted hazelnuts. I made a quick balsamic vinaigrette to bind it all together and it was fantastic.

And today for lunch I enjoyed it again atop a cashew, kale salad from Whole Foods and some leftover grilled chicken thighs.

Sweet, nutty and good for the soul. Give it a go, won’t you?

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