When I opened my Doorganics Box last week, I was excited to see a couple of sweet dumpling squashes. They looked up at me and said, "Roast me!"
There was also a long, winter-squash-type thingy that I had never seen (nor eaten) before. It said nothing.
I needed it to speak, so I turned to the magic of the Internet and discovered that the long, squash-like thingy was a Delicata squash, and that it could be roasted easily, either whole and open-faced. Then, thanks to four beautiful sprigs of rosemary sitting on the counter, I was inspired me to think, "maple syrup!" (Don't I always think maple syrup?)
I took initial whole roasting guidance from a neat blog called Fanatic Cook. It is written by an aerospace engineer turned Master of Public Health/Master of Science in Human Clinical Nutrition and Biochemistry. Say that 3 times fast. The author ("RB") shows us how to beautifully roast a whole dumpling squash. I've deviated a bit from RB's instructions, so I could try more stuff at the same temperature.
Now lets have some fun with squash. Here's three easy recipes. The 2nd is a favorite.
Whole Roasted Winter Squash
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Make sure no parchment sticks out past the pan (or it might burn).
Thoroughly wash one dumpling squash and one delicata squash (or 2 or each, just leave space enough for the squash to breathe and turn). Use a knife to pierce each squash in several places all the way around to vent. Place them on the cookie sheet and set into the preheated oven.
Every 15 or 20 minutes, turn the squash so that every inch can get an even heat exposure. Turn from top to bottom first, and as it starts to soften, turn side to side.
When the squash is soft and browning, remove from the oven. Let it cool down, cut in half, scrape out the seeds and pith. Then serve hot. You can add a little sea salt, or some brown sugar or maple syrup, or just eat them plain. Butter lovers can use these dairy alternatives, too. The dumpling squash is quite delicious roasted and naked (you can even eat the dumpling's skin), so purists like RB might not want to dress it up at all.
The delicata squash will take about one hour.
The dumpling squash will take about 1-1/2 hours.
Roasted Delicata with Rosemary and Maple Syrup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
1 delicata squash
1 tsp. safflower oil
1 pinch of sea salt
*please use sea or kosher, not the variety that comes in a blue cylinder.*
2 TBS of maple syrup
2 large sprig of fresh rosemary
Thoroughly wash one delicata squash and cut it in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp and save the seeds (so you can plant in your garden!) Put a little (a tsp.) safflower oil on your hands and "lightly" (I mean, lightly) rub the inside and the outside of each half. Sprinkle the insides with a little sea salt - a pinch on each half. Then spread the maple syrup on the flesh (inside) of each half - one TBS per half. Make sure you get some up the sides. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stem and sprinkle on the flesh. Put in the preheated oven.
After the first half hour, check every 10 minutes. Cook for about 1 hour until soft, and carmelized. This is so, so yummy.
Roasted Sweet Potatos and Summer Squash
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2 Sweet Potatoes (I used Covington, super good)
1 large Yellow Summer Squash
Line a cookie sheet with parchment and set aside. Wash the squash and scrub the sweet potatoes, then chop of the stem and butt ends. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then place face down on the cutting board and slice into 1/4-1/3 inch think slices. Then cut those slices in half. All of the vegetables should be slightly larger than bit sized pieces (potatoes smaller than the squash for more even cook time) since they shrink in the oven. Place on the sheet. Sprinkle two pinches of sea salt over the vegetables. Place the oil in the cup of your hand - about 1 TBS. Lightly rub the potatoes and squash pieces with the oil.
Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring up occasionally so that they get lightly browned on either side. Serve hot. Devour.
This method also works great for turnips!