Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Delicata Squash and Apples with Cider Vinaigrette


Crisp air, sunny skies, vibrant leaves and beautiful squash...the autumn season is truly splendid. Remember when I mentioned I was picking up forty pounds of squash from Farmstr? Well, I now have a gorgeous variety of winter squash in my shed to dig into! Time to indulge in some festive fall cooking.


The first squash I grabbed was delicata. Delicata squash are marvelous and quickly emerging as my favorite. This squash is quite pretty with its green and yellow stripes (important football colors in our family these days with the Oregon Ducks and Liberty Bell Mountain Lions!).  Unlike other types of squash such as butternut, there’s no need to peel delicata, making it quick and easy to prepare. Just cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, slice into half-moons and roast until it’s sweet and delicious.


To top my roasted squash, I made a vinaigrette by simmering apple cider until it reduced (filling the kitchen with fall coziness) and whisking in maple syrup, cider vinegar, Dijon and olive oil.


We’ve had boxes of apples stacked in the kitchen for applesauce, so when the squash came out of the oven I tossed some apple slices on the roasting pan and popped it all back in. It turns out that when roasted, the apples caramelize and are irresistible. I could eat an entire pan of them! I may have to try a batch of applesauce with them next.


I tucked roasted apples in with the cute little squash slices and finished the whole thing with a drizzle of cider vinaigrette and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. We had friends coming for dinner and we gobbled it all up – always a good sign. With Thanksgiving coming, I’m adding this to our menu. And now back to the shed for more squash!


Delicata Squash and Apples with Cider Vinaigrette
Serves 4-6

3 delicata squash, sliced in half lengthwise, seeded and sliced into 1/2 inch half-moons
3 medium sized apples, cored and sliced into eighths
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Flaky sea salt
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter the squash slices evenly in one layer, sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt over and roast for about 20 minutes, until soft and nicely browned. Remove the pan from the oven and use a spatula to gently move the squash to a serving plate. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the pan and scatter the apple slices in an even layer. Roast until soft and browned, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

While the squash and apples are baking, make the vinaigrette. Bring the cup of apple cider to a boil in a small sauce pan, lower the heat to medium and let simmer until it reduces by almost half, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Whisk in the cider vinegar, Dijon, maple syrup and remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

Gently tuck the apple slices in among the squash slices. When ready to serve, drizzle some of the cider vinaigrette over and scatter the parsley. Serve room temperature.

26 comments:

  1. This sounds so deliciously fall! I've never used delicata squash before, but I love the flavor combinations here. I'm definitely going to try this. It's dishes like these that really keep the fall excitement going for me.

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    1. Thank you so much, Amanda! Squash and apples really do evoke fall and there are so many good ways to enjoy them. Fall makes me happy! I hope you enjoy the delicata squash.

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  2. Aw man! I didn't know you could eat the peels! So much time spent! Vinaigrette is a great idea!

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    1. Thanks, Brooke! Nope, no need to peel...I was quite happy when I learned this, too. :)

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  3. I am also very fond of delicata! (I tried roasting acorn and the texture of the squash rind is just too chewy for my family.) Pairing the seasons favorites, apples and delicata makes for such an exceptional fall recipe!

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    1. Thanks so much, Deb! I haven't tried roasting acorn with the peel, so thank you for the heads up. I'm loving all the apples and squash...such a beautiful season.

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  4. Great minds think alike of squash and apples! I have an acorn squash in the slow cooker right now stuffed with apple, pecans and cranberries - topped with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Love Delicata, too, though!

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    1. Christine, that combination sounds wonderful! And even better in the slow cooker. I think ours is going to sit out on the counter all fall and winter! Miss you! xoxo

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  5. This sounds wonderful! We made a squash and apples dish last month--baked acorn squash stuffed with an apple compote--and I thought it would be too sweet for dinner, but it turned out just right! I love the vinaigrette in your recipe to keep things decidedly savory.

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    1. Brianne, I love your suggestion to stuff with apple compote - I'm going to give that a try. I can imagine the squash balanced out the sweetness nicely.

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  6. Gorgeous salad Hannah...and now I'm going to be on the hunt for some of that delicata; sounds wonderful.

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    1. Thank you, Barb! I hope you can easily find delicata - it really is delicious (and easy!).

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  7. Sweet squash with apple and spicy mustard sounds SO good. I'm putting this on my potential Thanksgiving dish list!

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    1. Thank you, Eileen! I do hope you enjoy it if you make it. The sweet and savory balance nicely and I love the festive colors of the squash and apples together.

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  8. I agree delicata squash look so pretty. But most squash do! This is such a great dish - loads of flavor. And color! Really excellent - thanks.

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    1. Thank you, John! Squash dishes really do have a lot of visual appeal. It's a wonderful season to be cooking in, isn't it?

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  9. This is just the perfect fall dish, everything about it screams Fall! I love squash and combining with apples and the vinaigrette sounds absolutely delicious. This would be perfect on my Thanksgiving table. Thanks for a great recipe and Happy Thanksgiving in advance,

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    1. Thanks so much, Suzanne! Squash and apples really do evoke autumn. This is my favorite time of year to be cooking, and we're coming up to my favorite holiday so I'm happy. I hope you're enjoying all your Thanksgiving preparation!

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  10. Hannah, this salad looks absolutely stunning. The delicata squash look wonderful - I've never seen them here - I think butternut is about as close as we get. Your vinaigrette sounds divine also. I've been going made for apple cider vinegar in dressings lately - feel as though I can't get enough of it.

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    1. Aw, thank you, Sue! I'm such a fan of butternut squash, too...it's a pain to have to peel but is oh so good to eat. And I'm loving apple cider vinegar, as well! Such lovely flavor.

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  11. My daughter and I are here reading food blogs (I know, how funny - she's 5 and read food blogs with me and discuss about food --- just for like 10 mins only tho haha). She said this is beautiful dish and want to make it. I guess we need to hunt down delicata squash! I've never used it in my cooking before, but we love that you cook with apples and the vineigrette sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing. Now off to put kids in bed. Hope you are having a good weekend!

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    1. Oh, Nami, this makes me smile! So sweet to spend time with your daughter in this way. She has a wonderful cooking role model in you! Please tell her thank you for her kind words. I hope you can locate some delicata squash - it's really so delicious. I hope all is well with you!

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  12. This is beautiful, Hannah. I have two delicatas on the counter - time to make this!

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    1. Thank you, Jenni! I hope you enjoy this one. I still have a few squash left from my Farmstr pick-up and I'm excited to try some new ideas. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

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    1. Thank you, Yosef! I made it a few times over the winter and we always enjoyed it. Delicata squash is really nice to prepare and so pretty.

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