This small squash is known for its stunning stripes, sweet flavor, and delicate no-peel skin. Delicata is perfect for stuffing and roasting, or sautéing in half-moon shapes in the frying pan.
Flavor profile: Delicata is known for its super sweet flavor, creamy texture, and delicate edible skins.
Uses: This squash can be used to make both sweet and savory dishes and has a lovely shape that lends it well for different recipes. Its cylindrical shape makes for perfect little boats that you can roast and even stuff with other foods. When you don’t feel like turning the oven on, you can also easily chop up your delicata into half-moon shapes and sauté them up in the frying pan.
Pairs with: Butter, garlic, herbs, ground meats, cheeses, nuts, brown sugar, bacon
Storage: Like most winter squash, delicata squash is best stored in a cool, dry place such as a garage or even on your porch, and has the potential to store for many many months. As squash slowly dry during storage, their skins become thicker and less edible over time.
Other names: Sweet Potato Squash
Nutrients: Like many other winter squash, delicata holds many complex sugars and starches that make for a nutrient-rich, filling meal all on their own. Delicata also has a variety of vitamins and minerals, including ⅕ of your daily value of vitamin C per cup cooked.
History: The oldest squash known to man was found in Oaxaca, Mexico over 10,000 years before domesticated corn and beans ever hit the scene, making it the first domesticated plant in the Americas. Delicata specifically lost popularity in the US during the Great Depression as the plants weren’t hardy enough to withstand increasingly high levels of disease pressure, but after stronger lines were developed their popularity skyrocketed to one of the top sellers at market.
Why it's a great crop: While many people struggle to know what to do with many larger squashes, delicata is a more manageable little squash that is a favorite at farmers markets and among CSA members. Compared to other squash, each plant can yield a good number of squashes, and their smaller size makes for more more efficient storage on farm.