Another delicious idea from Daisy:
Most winter squash, like acorn, butternut, and pumpkins, have a thick protective outer rind. I love cooking them, but find them hard to cut and somewhat tedious to peel. That’s why I was happy to discover delicata, a winter squash with a thin edible skin, which makes it much easier to work with and take less time to cook. It is an heirloom variety with a pale yellow or beige skin and shallow ridges with dark green mottled stripes. As its name suggests, the delicata’s lack of a tough outer skin means that it is more fragile and doesn’t last as long in the produce section as most winter squash, which can make it hard to find.
The delicata’s smooth and creamy flesh and sweet flavor is similar in taste to the sweet potato. Its small and oblong shape makes it perfect for stuffing and roasting. In this recipe, the squash goes very well with the hearty filling made with sausage and kale. The combination of spices gives the dish a little heat and the cheeses add a nutty flavor. The toasted breadcrumbs add a welcomed crunch. Adapted from Mountain Mama Cooks
Stuffed Delicata Squash
Yields 4 servings as a side dish or 2 servings as main entrée
2 medium-sized Delicata squash, washed, halved and seeded
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, separated
8 ounces Italian-style sausage, casing removed
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
pinch of nutmeg, or more, to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper, or more, to taste
pinch of allspice, or more, to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 heaping cups of coarsely chopped kale
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock, broth, or water
1/2 cup shredded Jarlsberg or Emmenthal cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
more chopped sage, for garnish
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Brush squash halves with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.
While squash is roasting, prepare stuffing. Heat remaining olive oil in a small sauté pan, over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 1 minute. Add sausage, breaking it up into pieces, and cook thoroughly. Once sausage is fully cooked, stir in sage, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and allspice, and season with salt and pepper. Deglaze with white wine. Add chopped kale and chicken stock. Cover pan with a lid and cook until kale is starting to wilt, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the stove and let cool slightly.
Divide the stuffing between the squash halves. Sprinkle cheeses and breadcrumbs. Bake until stuffing is heated through and Delicata squash is completely cooked, about 20 minutes. Garnish with more chopped sage.
Serve as a vegetable side dish or with a simple salad and a piece of bread as a main entrée.
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