Delicata squash: Save sweets for the dessert table

Some of you may remember that around this time last year, I tried my first butternut squash. Actually, I tried my first three. And it didn’t go great, to say the least. (You’ll have to refer back to see just how “not great” it went.)

But since my unfortunate experience with butternut squash had much more to do with my gastrointestinal system than it did with flavor, I decided to give its cousin, delicata, a try this year.

I was less aggressive this time and just cooked it one way. I went with Caroline Chambers’ method from her Instagram reel titled “How to F with delicata squash”, in which she proclaims this striped gourd to be the easiest of the winter squashes to “F with”.

I sliced the squash into half moons and drizzled those in a sauce of honey, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and garlic. I then roasted them on a sheet pan with some bone-in chicken thighs and carrots marinading in the same sauce.

Given my affinity for grilled summer squashes and baked pumpkin goods, I was confident that this delicata would be a winner.

The verdict

Unfortunately, meh. I didn’t come close to finishing my veggies this night (what would my mother say??). But I also didn’t throw this one up, so it’s got butternut beat!

The sauce itself was delicious and made the chicken thighs sweet, savory, and extra crispy.

But that same sweetness that served the chicken so well was a tad overpowering on the squash and carrots. Like pumpkin and butternut squash, delicata squash is naturally sweet, so the addition of so much honey in the sauce was too much for me. I may have a giant sweet tooth, but I reserve it for desserts (OK, and breakfasts).

After 40 minutes in the oven, it was also mushy as all hell. I was already going out on a limb with the cooked carrots because of the mush factor (you should know by now that texture is EVERYTHING to a picky eater), and the squash didn’t provide any relief. Thank goodness for the skin-on chicken thighs, which gave some much-needed crisp.

I’m not giving up on winter squashes yet. This was a good lesson for me—a little less time in the oven and a little more *umami* (my favorite, least favorite word), and I think this stuff has a chance.

I’m thinking I might have to try acorn squash next just to round out my gourd experience and figure out once and for all if I need to save squash for the summertime.

Are you passionate about winter squash? Tell me what I’m doing wrong in the comments below or on Instragram @thepickyeaterchronicles. And stay tuned for my acorn squash review coming up!

P.S. If you’re wondering what the Picky Boyfriend had to say about this week’s blog, let me start by saying, that’s PICKY FIANCEE to you! Ayyyyyy
But also he wouldn’t even try it. So yeah, things aren’t that different around here I guess.

Published by Bethy St. John

Lifelong picky eater with a love for all things cooking. I'm a complicated woman.

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