Delicata is an oblong, cream-colored squash with dark green stripes running the length of the squash. The flesh is rich and creamy with a flavor similar to sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, Delicata squash, like all winter squash, provides plenty of dietary fiber, potassium, iron, vitamins A and C, folate and niacin. While winter squash is tasty prepared a variety of methods, baking is a good choice for Delicata squash because it preserves the nutrients and accentuates the sweet flavor.
Scrub the squash under cool water. Use a vegetable brush to remove soil.
Place the squash on a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise, using a long, sharp knife. Don't attempt to slice through the stem. Instead, make the cut slightly to one side of the stem.
Scrape the seeds and pulp from the cavity, using a metal spoon.
Cut each squash half into halves or thirds -- chunks large enough to serve one person.
Heat oven to 375 F.
Cover the bottom of a baking dish with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water. Place the squash in the baking dish with the cut sides facing down.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake the squash until you can easily poke the skin with a fork -- about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the chunks.
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- Select solid, heavy Delicata squash with a hard outer rind and the stem attached. Winter squash without the stem doesn't store well and may not be fresh. Avoid squash with cuts or soft spots.
- Delicata squash is relatively easy to cut in comparison to harder-skinned winter squash such as acorn squash, Hubbard squash or pumpkin.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.