Do you smell that? Ya…that’s fall people. IT is HERE! Well almost. The weather man is taunting us. There are 90s in the forecast for the coming week but I have my fingers in my ears and I am not listening because my windows are open, it is in the 60s outside, and I am ready to pull out my BOXES O’ SWEATERS! Yes…that was plural….boxes.
Also… winter squash is edging its way onto farmer’s tables at the market. Pumpkins, gourds, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, cinderella pumpkins.
Mmmmm…pumpkin. Oh, be ready people…pumpkin recipes are going to blow this place up! We are going to be swimming in pumpkin at this hacienda. But until then, let’s get back to winter squash, shall we?
One of my favorite winter squash varieties is the delicata squash. It is slightly larger than an acorn squash, but smaller than a butternut. And did I mention that it is SOOO much easier to cut in half due to the thinner outside skin. The other beauty to this squash (besides those awesome trendy stripes) is that the skin is edible after it is cooked! Now don’t get me wrong. I love butternut squash like the next bloke, but carving off all that stupid skin and hacking and chopping and nearly taking off my fingers and ear lobes in the process to just get a few measly cups makes me a bitter woman. More bitter than normal. And that’s bitter, people.
The inside flesh is smooth and similar to butternut in texture. It caramelizes when roasted or grilled. This dish can easily be adapted for roasting in an oven. In an oven preheated to 425F, Roast for about 40 minutes. Around 30 or 35 minutes, keep an eye on them and test with a fork. They are done when the fork slides through with no resistance, like a potato.
You could serve the squash alone, but I topped them on top of a fresh lacinato kale salad. A perfect fall salad! Now, where’s my sweater?
Grilled Delicata Squash with Kale
Serves 4 as a side
- 1 delicata squash, deseeded, halved and sliced in 1/2-inch slices (keep skin on)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 bunch of kale (or swiss chard), stems or ribs removed and leaves cut into 1-inch strips and gently massaged. (Read this article to see why and how to massage that beautiful kale.)
- feta (leave off for vegan and paleo)
- Prepare and heat grill for direct grill method.
- Toss squash slices in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat for 5 minutes. Then carefully flip to the other side. Continue grilling for another 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, back on the ranch, add kale strips to a medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt and gently massage so that the kale slightly breaks down and becomes dark in color.
- Divide kale between 4 bowls. Place grilled squash rings on top of kale. Top with crumbled feta.