The Thanksgiving clock is ticking and I am ready to make and enjoy a wonderful meal. This will be my third time cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It's a tradition that I was more than happy to take over (and have not-so-secretly wanted to do so for a while). I only hope that next year we have a house to have it in... hosting Thanksgiving dinner in an apartment just isn't all that convenient sometimes. One of my favorite things is that I like to try to convert my guests to lovers of things like turnips, squash, brussel sprouts, parsnips, etc. Some of them already like these things, but some are still not sure... I try to "jazz" up some of these less-loved vegetables to get people as excited about them as I am. Sometimes it works, and other times, not so much. But, hey, you can't blame me for trying - there was I time when I thought I didn't like these vegetables, too.
This delicata squash dish could be an interesting addition to your Thanksgiving table, or any fall/winter meal. The squash is sticky, smoky, sweet and all-around yummy. I do love delicata squash simply halved and baked with some butter and salt. It's think it has the most complex flavor of the winter squash. I also love that you can cut it up into rings and eat the skin. The below recipe uses one squash, which will serve two people as a side dish. You can easily adjust it to make a lot more if you want to feed a crowd.
Smoked paprika and maple-glazed delicata squash
1 delicata squash, washed well
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
sea salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the delicata squash into about 1/4-inch rounds. Use a spoon to remove the seeds from each round. Place the squash in a bowl and toss with the paprika and cayenne pepper. Stir in the butter and maple syrup and stir well to coat. Pour into a small baking dish.
Place in the lower third of the oven and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Remove and gently stir and flip over the squash so it gets fully covered in the glaze. Return to the oven and cook another 5 minutes. Remove again and gently stir. By now the glaze should be thickening and the squash should be softening. Return to the oven and cook a final 3-5 minutes, or until it is fork tender.
Sprinkle the hot squash with some sea salt and serve immediately.
I'm linking up this dish at the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash event hosted by Eats Well with Others and Girlichef.
What was I cooking one year ago?: pumpkin gnocchi in gorgonzola sauce
Two years ago?: Tex-Mex turkey-stuffed baked winter squash