Roasted Delicata Squash with Miso-Maple Butter

Delicata Squash with Miso-Maple Butter

I love butternut squash to bits but even I, an admitted squash fiend, sometimes just can’t deal with the work of prepping it. Those suckers are big and can be a pain in the butternut to peel, chop and seed.

That’s why, if you haven’t yet, you should expand your vegetal horizons to include the lovely and thin-skinned Delicata.

Delicata Squash

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Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Acorn Squash

Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Acorn SquashAcorn squash easy-baked with a brown sugar and mustard glaze. Simple, tasty and nutritious. This recipe just screams autumn! 

I fully admit that around this time of year I go a little squash crazy (examples: mashed with mascarpone, curried in soup, curried in another soup, in pasta with bacon, in farro salad). I tend to focus my obsession on the butternut variety (it’s just asking for it. I mean look at those curves!) but I have plenty of madness left for my other favorites like delicata, kabocha and the wonderful acorn.

Acorn squash
Acorn squash. The green is most common but new varieties, like this variegated golden are becoming popular.

What I love about acorn squash in particular is that it’s very mildly flavored and extremely easy to cook. You could basically whack it in half, rub the flesh with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and simply roast it and it would be delicious.

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Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup kicked up with Thai curry flavor and served with sweet and spicy candied peanuts. Want a soup that’ll warm you up? This is it.

I was vegetarian for most of my twenties and though I eat (ethically-raised, organic) meat now, I wouldn’t have that much trouble giving it up. On the other hand, I was vegan for about 45 minutes and almost lost my mind craving cheese.

I admit that I’m slightly weird with dairy. The thought of drinking a glass of milk makes me shudder with horror, but cheesy pastas and creamy soups are my comfort foods of choice. It would take a lot for me to say goodbye to them forever.

This soup is absolutely comfort food in the best way but, surprise! It also happens to be vegan. Yes, vegan. The trick (if it could even be called that) is to combine silky puréed butternut squash with creamy, rich coconut milk. The texture becomes as smooth as bisque, without a drop of dairy.

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

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Mashed Butternut Squash with Thyme and Mascarpone

Mashed Butternut Squash with Thyme and Mascarpone

This dish is basically autumn in a pot. It’s orange, it’s delicious, it’s healthy, and you can serve it for Thanksgiving or as a side for any meal.

Now that I live in the boonies and have to drive to the grocery store like a normal, I have a bad habit of buying way too many vegetables at once. I have such optimism in the produce aisle, thinking of all the tasty things I’ll make, but time gets away from me and eventually, with great shame in my heart, I end up with a bin full of bendable carrots and fuzzy broccoli rabe.

But I never, ever regret buying too much winter squash (like acorn, delicata, kabocha and butternut). Those things last for-fricking-ever. I mean, I don’t just adore them because of shelf-life. That would be silly. “Hey, you lazy bastards. Wanna make something that won’t rot?” Damn, I should have gone into advertising. I think I have a knack.

Anyway, I’ve had this butternut squash sitting on my counter for at least 3 weeks (lie, 5 weeks) and look; still perfect! Butternut squash is packed with fiber, vitamins A and C so it’s a great, healthy alternative to mashed potatoes and look at that color. It’s like being punched in the face by fall!

We had it with Baked Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Garlic. It’s a great combination.

Mashed Butternut Squash with Thyme and Mascarpone

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