Delicata squash is a smallish, oblong squash with a pretty green-streaked cream rind. In this recipe for sauteed Delicata squash, you can eat it rind and all.
This type of squash can be found at farmer's markets and specialty produce departments in the late summer and fall. Its flesh is less sweet than acorn or butternut squash but has a similar texture. Normally you don't eat the rind of winter squashes, but when my friend Kelley told me she'd prepared Delicata thinly sliced and sautéed, I was intrigued. And sure enough, when sliced thinly enough and sautéed in a little olive oil and butter, the rind takes on a firm but al dente texture while the interior gets creamy. It's a delicious, easy-to-make autumn side dish to serve with roast pork or chicken (Recipe to try: Chicken Breasts with Leeks and Parmesan Cheese).
A mandoline slicer is the perfect tool for quickly cutting the squash into thin, uniform slices. Be sure to read our safety tips, below.
Cooking Equipment Needed: Chef's knife, mandoline slicer, measuring spoons, large nonstick pan (one to try: Bialetti Aeternum Nonstick Cookware), turner spatula, cheese grater, nutmeg grater, cheese grater
- Using a chef's knife, cut each squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp. Cut off the stem end. Using a mandoline slicer, cut the squash halves into thin slices, between 1/16 and 1/8-inch thick. If you don't have a mandoline slicer, you can do this with a chef's knife.
- In a large nonstick pan, heat the olive oil and butter together until the butter melts. Swirl to completely coat the bottom of the pan. Add the squash and saute, stirring frequently and turning squash over to cook evenly, until the squash is darkened and almost translucent, and the rind can be easily cut with a butter knife. It will take about 10 to 14 minutes for the squash to cook completely. Use a nutmeg grater to sprinkle the squash lightly with grated nutmeg, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the squash to a serving plate and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve hot or warm.
Mandoline Slicer Tips
If you haven't used a mandoline slicer before, here are some tips on how to use it safely and effectively:
- Keep your fingers safe. Most mandoline slicers come with a food grip - use it! If for some reason you don't have a food grip, hold the piece of food with your fingertips curled but gripping firmly. Keep your eyes on the food and the blade as you're working, avoid distractions, and slow down your slicing motion as the piece of food you're slicing gets smaller.
- Squash is a hard vegetable, so a little more pressure will be needed to slice it than with softer foods. Thinner-sized slices will be easier to slice, and don't attempt to slice a piece of squash once it gets too small, as you're more likely to cut yourself - it's better to just discard the end, or use a chef's knife to finish slicing it.
- Rinse the mandoline slicer immediately and wash it as soon as possible; food that dries onto the mandoline will be more difficult to remove.