If you haven’t already, consider making delicata squash your go-to vegetable of the season. Here’s my elevator pitch for why you should choose delicata over other winter squashes: 1) it’s easier to clean, cut, and cook; 2) the flesh is sweeter, richer, and creamier; and 3) those pretty scalloped edges!
So bring home a couple of these beauties, and follow a few easy steps: cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. The skin and flesh are more forgiving than other squashes so this will be easier than you think. And note that you do not have to peel the squash! The skin is thin and delicate so you actually eat it along with the interior after roasting.
You will then slice the squash crosswise into crescents about a half-inch thick. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in the oven until tender. As with most roasted vegetables, the pieces of squash need space in order to achieve the caramelization you want. So don’t hesitate to spread them between two baking sheets.
In this recipe I’ve paired the sweetness of the delicata with peppery arugula; I love the way the arugula just barely wilts when topped with the roasted squash, gaining an intensity of flavor without losing its shape. And I’ve topped the dish with tart pomegranate seeds to cut the richness of the squash, and walnuts to add a necessary crunch.
Finally, I’ve drizzled a curry-yogurt dressing over the top. This is one of my favorite dressings and when I make it I usually double the recipe to use throughout the week: I pour it over quinoa with mango, cashews, and mint; toss it with a salad of grapes, chicken, and shredded brussel sprouts; or spoon into a lettuce wrap with shrimp, rice noodles, and cilantro. The greek yogurt provides a creamy base, the curry brings a little heat, the honey balances the curry’s pungency, and the lemon brightens everything up.
Delicata Squash and Arugula with Curry-Yogurt Dressing
This is wonderful as a side, or could be made into a main course by serving on top of some brown rice.
- 2 delicata squash cleaned, seeded, cut lengthwise, and sliced into ½-inch thick crescents
- 1 TB olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups arugula
- ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
- ⅓ cup walnuts
- 1 bunch of fresh mint torn into small pieces*
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 TB curry powder
- 2 TB fresh lemon juice
- 1 TB honey
Prepare the dressing: Stir together dressing ingredients. Taste for tartness and salt and adjust as needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat squash in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Arrange on 1-2 baking sheets, making sure there is space between the pieces.
Roast for about 25 minutes, until they start to brown around the edges. Let cool for another 5 minutes on the baking sheet.
Spread arugula out over a serving platter. Top with squash, pomegranate, and walnuts. Drizzle with curry dressing to taste (you will likely end up with some leftover dressing). Sprinkle with mint.
*if you don't have mint, you can substitute cilantro This is wonderful as a side, or could be made into a main course by serving on top of some brown rice.