Delicata squash is a small oblong squash with orange-yellow flesh that tastes similar to sweet potatoes. Its skin is thin and tender enough to eat after cooking, which sets it apart from other winter squash. Delicata squash is high in fiber, vintamins C and A, and potassium. Its small size makes it an ideal candidate for slicing or stuffing.
Selecting delicata squash. Delicata squash should have solid, blemish-free skin. The skin should be a creamy color with bright green and sometimes orange stripes.
Storing delicata squash. Because of its delicate, thin skin, delicata squash is not a great candidate for long-term storage like other winter squash. Store it in a cool, dark place, but plan on using it within a few weeks. Once cut, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several days.
Cooking delicata squash is a little different from other typical winter squash, such as butternut squash, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash. The skin is thinner and its flesh is more tender, so it cooks more quickly and the skin is usually left on -- this makes preparing any delicata squash recipe quite simple.
To bake delicata squash: Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut delicata squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Brush cut sides lightly with olive oil or canola oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut sides up on a large baking sheet. Bake about 35 minutes or until tender.
To roast delicata squash: Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut delicata squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Cut halves crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Toss with olive oil and desired seasonings. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast about 30 minutes or until squash is tender and golden, turning once.
To poach delicata squash: Cut delicata squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Cut halves into 1-inch pieces. Place 1 cup of liquid (water, chicken broth, apple juice or cider) in a large skillet; add squash. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, covered, 6 to 8 minutes or until squash is just tender.