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the persistence of rainbows

Recipe: roasted delicata squash

When the coasts are getting snow and rain, Colorado typically sits under a high pressure ridge which means sunshine and warm weather. Sometimes we’ll get clipped by the edge of a storm and experience a little rain, and if we’re lucky the temperatures aloft will be cool enough to give us snow instead of rain. So far, what little rain and snow we’ve received has been teasing us in the mountains.

some rain, some snow, and plenty of wind

On Saturday, we experienced some dynamic weather – low clouds racing by and sun showers popping up every which way. In the morning, there was a long-lived rainbow to the west of our house as spot showers rolled through intermittent sunshine. When we took Neva for a hike, we could see a rainbow on the far horizon, but it was mostly obscured by forest. It lasted for a couple of hours as rain clouds continually spilled over the mountains. I tried to get a photograph, but I could never see the entire rainbow because the rainbow itself was quite low due to the high sun. As we drove home through bouts of rain and intense sun, we rounded the bend and saw yet another rainbow, but this time it was in a valley below us – the perfect geometry for the afternoon sun. Wind-driven rain pelted me and everyone else who had stopped to marvel at this stunning phenomenon. “Did you find the pot of gold?” a woman shouted over the roar of the winds, smiling. “Colorado IS the pot of gold!” I answered.

a full double rainbow and my pot of gold that is colorado

This weekend, we collapsed Neva’s bedroom crate in the hopes of getting her used to sleeping in the doggy bed at night AND staying there. She loves her bed, which is currently decked out with three pillows (she’s spoiled) and a super soft blanket. However, Neva has figured out how to position herself on our bed without disrupting our sleep and thus avoiding getting kicked off in the middle of the night. Since she isn’t much of a snuggler, lying between our feet suits Neva just fine. It worked so well, I was able to get up for sunrise without that pukey feeling when you haven’t gotten proper rest.

technicolor sunrise

Between Jeremy’s travel schedule, the start of “wind season” in the mountains, and the looming end to Daylight Saving, we had some of Jeremy’s colleagues up for dinner a few nights ago. Darkness isn’t a problem, unless you’re trying to find our house for the first time. People always ask if we eat dinner party food all the time, and the answer is no. After entertaining, we enjoy simpler fare. One dish I’m digging lately is roasted delicata squash. These oblong, dark green-striped yellow squash are everywhere in stores and markets right now. Delicata squash are easy to prepare and you can leave the skin on (and eat it) unlike some other squash varieties.

olive oil, salt, black pepper, delicata squash

The preparation is straightforward, simple, and quick – the perfect dish for fall and winter. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and slice into 1/2-inch thick pieces. While delicata squash are not nearly as hard as butternut squash, they aren’t going to slice like butter. Do take care when cutting the squash – especially on that first lengthwise cut.

cut in half

use a spoon to scoop out the seeds


Place the slices in a large bowl. Drizzle some olive oil over the squash and season with salt and pepper. Toss everything to coat the pieces evenly. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan. I like to line my baking sheet with foil or parchment for easier clean up. Roast until the pieces are tender. This took me about 20 minutes, and I flipped the slices halfway through the roasting time so that they browned on both sides. You don’t have to flip them if you don’t want to. I didn’t the first time I made this and they were just as delicious, but I do like that I can double the browned surface area which lends a little more texture.

drizzle olive oil

season with salt and pepper

toss to coat

arrange on a baking sheet

roast for 20 minutes

Roasting is a great technique for bringing out the sweetness in vegetables and concentrating their flavor. Roasted delicata squash is tender and sweet without being overly starchy. It makes a great side dish and I’ve chopped up leftovers to toss into salads or pasta. I have yet to explore other ways of preparing delicata squash because I love this simple recipe so much, but if you have a favorite recipe, I’d love to hear about it.

simple is best

eat your vegetables

Roasted Delicata Squash
[print recipe]

2 medium delicata squash (about 3 lbs.)
1-2 tbsps olive oil
1/2-1 tsp salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F. Wash the squash and pat dry. Cut each squash in half lengthwise (be careful as they can roll about), then scoop the seeds and guts out (discard). Slice the squash into 1/2-inch thick half-rings. Place the slices in a large bowl and toss the squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet (I lined mine with foil) or roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes, flipping the slices over halfway through the roasting time. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

butternut squash pasta sauce roasted carrot soup roasted goat cheese-stuffed squash roasted cauliflower

8 nibbles at “the persistence of rainbows”

  1. Patti says:

    I really love delicata squash, but I have never roasted it. I usually just stir fry it with seasonings. This is a great way to prepare the squash. I love that double rainbow.

  2. Jill Hyde says:

    I did not know you could eat the skin! Good to know…and we’re going to try that. I think Neva just wants to be with her pack. xo, jill

  3. Lisa says:

    I’ve been receiving lots of these in my CSA thus fall. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Janice says:

    So a friend served us a Bon Appetit recipe using delicata squash (roasted with gochujang and sesame seeds) a week ago, and I made it this past weekend with what I think is called buttercup squash (it looks like a big acorn squash).
    It is a tiny bit spicy, which contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of the squash. I substituted a little sesame oil (for 1/4 of the veg oil) and added a tablespoon of honey (which probably was unnecessary). aND I am so happy to discover squash that doesn’t need peeling!

  5. farmerpam says:

    I love delicata, but didn’t know you could eat the skin. Now I know. The rainbow picture gave me goosebumps, very lovely, and how lucky you were to catch that. Thanks for sharing! ;)

  6. jenyu says:

    Patti – I didn’t know you could stir fry it! I’ll have to try that, too! :)

    Jill – yes, I rather like that the skin is edible, but if there are little dried bumps on the skin, I cut those off (because they are hard when cooked).

    Lisa – :)

    Janice – nice! Thanks for the recipe link!

    farmerpam – thank you xo

  7. Christine says:

    Hi. Your photos are simply gorgeous and cheered me up after a very sad week.

    I took some liberties with your recipe and seasoned mine with avocado oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper and a generous sprinkle of onion powder. I roasted them at 375 for 30 minutes, and then cranked up the heat at the very end for some carmelization. They were so, so delicious. Whoever says that their kids don’t like vegetables hasn’t tried roasting these beautiful little squashes.

  8. David Aronstein says:

    This recipe widened my vistas when you published it and I’ve made it each fall since then. Thought I’d offer you something in return, which is that this time I also separately roasted the seeds, and they were good! I used this recipe:

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