Despite the fact we have continued to experience summer-like weather lately, the seasons are indeed changing.
While fall may not quite be in the air yet, the arrival of fall is more evident at our area farmers markets when scanning the local produce that is now available. Feijoas (aka pineapple guavas), fresh pears, pomegranates and a large selection of freshly harvested apples are just some of the recent indicators.
Also becoming increasingly abundant is a diverse assortment of winter squash, harvested annually in the fall and then stored in a cool dry place to be sold until the farmers run out, ideally lasting all winter long.
From butternut and kabocha, to acorn and spaghetti, you can expect to encounter more than a dozen varieties of winter squash throughout the season. Excellent to slow-roast and turn into a creamy winter soup, or serve as a side. Some varieties, such as the butternut squash, possess thicker skins that are usually peeled before consuming.
The kabocha, on the other hand, has skins so thin they can be enjoyed in unison with the flesh.
This week, I picked up some petite delicata squash with skins thin enough to skip the peeling. While I usually slice my winter squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast in large halves, this week I decided to roast my delicata squash in horseshoe-like pieces.
This roasted version can be tossed in olive oil and then really hit with a wide array of seasonings. This week I went with garlic powder, ground cumin, chili powder and seasoned salt. You can also experiment with fresh herbs such as thyme, or a more unique flavor profile like a garam masala spice mixture, or a curry powder blend.
Garlic-Chili Roasted Delicata Squash
1 delicata squash, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds scooped out with a spoon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice your squash into half-inch thick half-rings. In a mixing bowl, toss squash in olive oil, then toss in all seasonings until evenly coated. Place in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes, then turn over and cook another 20 minutes, or until fork tender.
Yield: Serves 2.