Do you ever feel like you take your life into your own hands when cutting up a winter squash? I know I do. Those grooved edges and dense interiors (I’m looking, at you, acorn) take a lot of effort to slice through, especially if you’re interested in retaining all ten fingers.
And yet, I have willing endangered myself the past few autumns because I love the hearty texture and earthy flavor of these gourds and know that there’s nothing better in November than a golden brown, roasted squash. Then, last week, I discovered delicata squash, and my squash world was turned upside down. As the name implies, the skin is very delicate, making it a cinch to halve and seed. Delicata squashes are about the size of two fists, which makes one squash half a perfectly portioned side dish. Even better, a chef’s knife can span the length of the squash, which conveniently avoids any bouts of frustration caused by a knife stuck in a gigantic squash.
I have quite a few winter squash recipes on this site, but this one is by far the simplest. A quick glaze of miso paste, soy sauce, honey, and rice vinegar is brushed onto the squash, before being roasted in a hot oven. The squash emerges golden brown, with tender, edible skin, and a flavor not unlike a bowl of steaming miso soup. The squash can be in the oven in three minutes, and will roast while you prepare the rest of dinner. Try this alongside some soba noodles and seared tofu for a Japanese-inspired fall dinner.
Miso-Glazed Delicata Squash
Serves 4 as a side dish
2 medium delicate squash, halved and seeded
1 ½ teaspoons miso (red or white—red has a stronger flavor while white miso is much milder)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 425 and place the squash halves, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the miso, soy sauce, honey, and rice vinegar and stir until smooth. Using a pastry brush, brush the miso mixture over the cut halves of the squash.
- Place the squash in the preheated oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, until tender and golden brown. Serve immediately.