Delicious Delicata

FoodI know I’ve already gone on about how much I loathe squash, but I found another contender — possibly even better than Acorn, The Perfect Food, for the best winter vegetable: Delicata. A warning to all the hapless victims of our garden largess, THIS is what I’m growing next year, by the bushel. This tasty sweet squash is, per 3/4 c. serving, 30 calories, 1 g protein, and just 7 g carbohydrate. It lends itself to eating plain baked, mashed with a little salt and pepper, or added to risotto. This was its debut at our house:

Delicata Roasted Veg Bread Pudding

  • 2 medium sized skinned, gutted and cubed Delicata – if you choose them very small, the skins are tender enough to eat without skinning them. Three cheers for laziness!
  • 3 small chopped onions – or fewer, or even add garlic if you like
  • 2 cup seasoned bread crumbs – I had some bread guts from Mac’s herbed bread in the freezer from when we hollowed out small boules for chili – both handy and tasty,
  • 1 cup fresh, chopped, greens – I used arugula, and their pungency was a perfect counterpoint to the sweet Delicata, and they’re just too strong to use in salad in that amount,
  • 1 c. ground “meat” of your choice
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella, or some other tasty cheese you like
  • 1 c. of white wine and a splash (1/2 cup-ish) of milk
  • ground pepper and salt to taste; I forgot about that, but salting per serving works just as well in this household of both hyper and hypotension.

Gather your ingredients, and go through the tedious process of gutting the seeds out of your squash. As a reward, those you can save and roast, just like pumpkin seeds. Yum. I just tossed my ingredients into a lightly spritzed casserole dish, in layers, as if I was doing lasagne. I started with the breadcrumbs on bottom, and build up. If you don’t have herbed bread in crumbs, use it in a solid layer of slices. And if your bread isn’t herbed, bodge in some chopped rosemary and a sage and garlic powder, will you? I also added an optional 1 tbsp. of smoked torula yeast (which we found in tiny amounts in a store, got sick of that noise, and then ordered wholesale).

When I was finished with this, our house smelled like winter… filled with the smells of those good, filling, post-Thanksgiving dinners that make you happy when the whole wet/cold/rampant flooding/mold is starting to get grim and you’re a bit sick of rain. And the dish is colorful and really low in calories… next time I make it, I may add another squash for contrast, and skip the bread bit altogether.

You may wonder why I’m angsting over the caloric content of a vegetable dish? Weeell, it’s because my sister has suggested that she can borrow some of my clothes for maternity things later on this year. And while she didn’t mean it unkindly (because I really do have wider shoulders, am a little bigger frame)? Er, she wasn’t kidding. Time to lose a few pounds but seriously! And if I can have this great veg casserole with a big salad for dinner every week, it will it be really easy! (Note: I’ll miss the bread, with great aching pain. It’s been fun… but I want to make sure people can tell which one of us sisters is the one breeding. Already I am stiffening my spine for the comments of the clueless who will do the math, see it’s been twelve years, and start suggesting that ‘shouldn’t you be expecting too?’ Siiiiiiigh. It’s all in the details, you see…)

2 Replies to “Delicious Delicata”

  1. We’re fans of spaghetti squash with butter, salt, and pepper; or butternut squash cut into slices and roasted in the oven with a drizzle of brown sugar and olive oil, or maple syrup.

  2. And THIS is why I love winter squash, and loathe summer. There are just SO many of the winter ones you can eat with brown sugar, butter and maple syrup!!!

    I have to admit that spaghetti squash hasn’t yet won me over, but I’ve had it with… marinara sauce. Which I don’t really like anyway. Maybe I didn’t cook it long enough? Perhaps I’ll try again…

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