Author Notes: One of the many things I love about Delicata squash is you don't have to peel it. The skin is thin and beautiful and adds to any dish you might create with it. This is my new favorite way to have it, based on a side dish I had recently had at a local hot restaurant. The squash is presalted to amp up the crispy-potential and sharpened with lime. The relish is cooked in apple cider which brings out the fruit flavors, and can be made a few days in advance. This light side dish is easy, beautiful to look at and has a great contrasting flavors. Hope you try it! - ChezSuzanne —TheWimpyVegetarian
Food52 Review: This has all the makings of a great holiday side -- you can prepare its parts ahead of time. None of them are taxing. And the resulting dish is like nothing you've had before. The squash rings are richly caramelized, the relish zingy, and the lime juice and zest brighten it all, keeping a sweet dish in check. We'll be making this one for years to come. - A&M —The Editors
Crispy Delicata Rings
- 2 Delicata squash
- olive oil
- 1 lime
- Slice the ends off of the squash. Slice into 1/2" rings and remove the seeds with a spoon. Reserve the seeds for another use or roast them with some cayenne pepper, salt, and cumin and sprinkle over the finished dish.
- Lightly salt the squash and let sit for 30 minutes. Completely dry off with paper towels, removing the salt. Heat enough oil to coat a saute pan over medium high heat. Lightly salt the squash rings with fresh salt and add them to the pan. They should sizzle the moment they hit the pan. Don't crowd them or they'll steam more than they'll brown. Saute until lightly browned (about 2 minutes per side).
- Remove to a plate and grate lime peel over them and squeeze lime juice on them. I used the juice and zest from 1/2 lime for each Delicata.
- Top with the Currant, Fennel and Apple Relish and serve warm. Optional: top with spiced roasted squash seeds.
Currant, Fennel and Apple Relish
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 1/2 crisp apple, peeled, seeded, very small dice (I used Pink Lady)
- 1 fennel bulb, outer layer removed, very small dice
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 tablespoon Calvados
- Combine all ingredients in a small pot and simmer over medium low heat until the cider is reduced by half. Strain and sprinkle over the Crispy Delicata Rings.
- Your Best Vegetarian Holiday Side Contest Winner!