If you are in a pre-Thanksgiving panic and looking for an easy, healthy side dish to add to your Thanksgiving table, first check out this checklist from Jezebel of things you should have already done for Thanksgiving, like starting your own cranberry bog and hatching your own turkey eggs. Then consider adding this simple Roasted Delicata Squash Rings recipe to your menu. Delicata is a sweet fall squash that’s now available at many grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Not only does it have a sweet, starchy flesh, but the peel is beautiful and edible, so you don’t even have to go through the work of peeling it like other squashes. Just slice it and roast it and you’ve got a simple and visually stunning side dish to complement any fall meal. You can even prep these ahead of time and just reheat them in the oven before Thanksgiving dinner. They don’t taste too shabby at room temperature either.
Delicata tastes great roasted on its own like this, or you can add the roasted rings to a grain salad or any place you might add roasted butternut squash or sweet potato cubes. Since delicata is naturally sweet and roasting enhances this quality, the squash rings could even been a substitute for the more time-consuming (and fat- and sugar-laden) classic of sweet potato casserole. If you have a mandoline, try slicing the delicata very thinly to make oven chips as a great between-meal snack; follow the same procedure, just reduce the time in the oven by about half. I’ll warn you though: these chips are ridiculously addictive.
The shape of the squash slices reminds me of the flower-shaped butter cookies that I used to eat off of my fingers as a kid. Which, for some reason, now only appear to be available on Amazon for $59.99. From a food-safety standpoint, it’s probably a safer bet to just go with the squash.
2 – 3 delicata squashes
3 tablespoons of canola or grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon of salt
pinch of red pepper flake
freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Slice each delicata squash in half horizontally (to preserve circle-shape) and scoop out the seeds with a small spoon. Then slice 1/4-inch rings.
3. Toss the rings with the oil, salt, chili flake and pepper, making sure that there is just enough oil to coat. Place the rings in a single-layer on the prepared baking sheets and roast for 30 – 40 mins, turning them over halfway through. The squash should be fully cooked and lightly browned on each side. Add more salt to taste, if desired.