I relish strolling through autumn’s farmers market when I can eye the array of colorful squashes and gourds. The golden browns, vibrant yellows and bright oranges signal the season is in full swing. Butternuts, Hubbards, Kabochas, spaghetti and banana squash are beckoning to be transformed into a cozy, savory dish.
I must admit I am partial to Delicata squash for its colorful striped exterior and its Seriously Simple ease in preparation for cooking. All that is needed is a quick wash to remove any wax, then slice in half and remove the seeds. This is the only squash I eat with the skin on. Yes, that means no peeling!
For this dish, I added a large sliced apple to complement the soft interior (which is similar to sweet yam) and slightly browned skin. Olive oil helps to brown the fruit and squash. I’ve garnished this with minty-pine sage leaves and earthy thyme leaves. What makes this more unusual is that a vinegar-syrup glaze is poured over it after roasting. This small step elevates the simple squash and apple flavors to a sweet and sour flavor. And the recipe is so easy to put together, you may find you are making it repeatedly for family and friends
I like to serve this as a side dish to chicken, Cornish hens, turkey or pork. I also like to serve it at room temperature on top of arugula or a spring mix along with goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles. A simple vinaigrette dresses the greens. No matter how you serve this, you’ll love the fresh, innovative twist to squash and apples.
Roasted Apple and Delicata Squash with Cider Vinegar Maple Syrup Glaze
- 3 Delicata squash, about 3/4 pound each, washed and well cleaned to remove any wax
- 1 large Envy, Fuji or Honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
For the glaze:
- 2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
For the garnish:
- 6 fresh sage leaves, torn into pieces
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Trim the ends of the squash off. Then cut the squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and stringy flesh from the center. Cut each in half again so you have 4 quarters for each squash.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then oil the paper. Place the apples and squash on the pan. Oil the squash and apple pieces on both sides. (You can use a brush or your hands.) Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the chopped sage and thyme leaves on top.
4. Lay squash flesh-side down and apples slices on the baking sheet and bake for about 18 minutes on one side and then turn over and continue roasting for another 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from oven.
5. For the glaze, combine the vinegar and syrup in a small bowl. Spoon over the squash and apples evenly, using tongs to turn them. Transfer all to a serving platter using a wide spatula and sprinkle with salt and pepper, sage and thyme. Serve immediately.
Recipe note: This recipe may be doubled or tripled. Use separate baking sheets.
(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.)
©2020 Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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