Not Your Average Squash

Before I was an ICF CSA member, I'd never heard of delicata squash. I grew up with acorn and winter squash, blue hubbard, and maybe butternut. We'd get squash from the huge farmstands in Putney, VT (at the time we were living in Hinsdale, NH) and we used the cellar bulkhead as a root cellar. We had 50 pound bags of potatoes and onions as well. These were the days before my mother had a freezer and she wasn't into canning anything!

But the first time I had delicata squash I became a devoted convert. It's almost my vegetable of choice in the fall because we are still grilling and they do very well on the grill. Or they bake up easily and if you slice them into very thin half moons, you can put them on your homemade pizza. (NOFA Pizza Oven folks did this one year and again, I was hooked.) And yes...in my house, everything that can be grilled or added to pizza IS.

I think of delicata as being harder (sturdier) than a summer squash (the usual zucchini, yellow summer, pattypan) and softer than a storage winter squash (acorn, butternut, etc.) So while the species is the same as zucchini/summer, delicata arrives in the early fall. But the best thing about it? The skin is edible!

Preparation is very easy. I usually grill or bake them. Sometimes I stuff them with a quinoa mixture and bake them. Unlike the stuffed zucchini boats, I don't add a sauce of any kind. Or use your favorite Thanksgiving stuffing and make an interesting holiday side dish.

These squash store pretty well...perhaps a little longer than a zucchini, not as long as a butternut, in keeping with its texture.

If you have avoided picking these up with your share, reconsider and try them out! You'd be in for a new taste treat.