Make Ahead

Crispy Delicata Rings With Currant, Fennel & Apple Relish

November 16, 2010
12 Ratings
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
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

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: Our Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes.

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

What You'll Need
  • Crispy Delicata Rings
  • 2 Delicata squash
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • 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
  1. Crispy Delicata Rings
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Sauté until lightly browned (about 2 minutes per side).
  4. 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.
  5. Top with the Currant, Fennel and Apple Relish and serve warm. Optional: top with spiced roasted squash seeds.
  1. Currant, Fennel and Apple Relish
  2. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dennis Michael
    Dennis Michael
  • epicharis
  • DeirdreMS
  • koechin
  • Holly Zajac
    Holly Zajac

133 Reviews

Toni R. November 14, 2017
Great recipe! I'm wondering if the squash could be deep fried since I'm serving 24, that is a lot of pan frying.
Leburk November 15, 2017
i have successfully oven roasted the squash.
RP November 21, 2020
So if you roast the squash, what temperature and for how long? Would you roast first then brown, brown first then roast?
Leburk November 21, 2020
I brush them with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 375 for 15 minutes , flip the rings over , then another 15....time may vary depending on the thickness of your rings..
They caramel beautifully so no need for browning..
Dennis M. November 19, 2015
I must be missing something. You expect to get that color on squash and a fully cooked product after just 4 minutes of cooking time on medium high heat ? (Saute until lightly browned (about 2 minutes per side)."

epicharis October 3, 2015
Christ almighty, this was a good recipe. Like others, I was amazed at how just a little lime zest and juice really expanded the flavors. This is going into my fall repertoire for sure. Thank you for sharing this!
Sarah W. December 26, 2014
I also found the squash to be quite undercooked even when they were very darkly browned. I also agree that there ratio of currants in the relish was high. We baked the leftover squash and relish together the next day and although they squash lost its fried crispiness, it also lost its undercooked crispiness and was delicious! The lime added a surprisingly effective dimension. Next time I might try roasting and then pan frying, or just roasting, the squash. The relish would be terrific on any squash or pork dish and I will definitely make it again.
Michelle October 13, 2014
I made this tonight to go with a brisket for dinner. I did not have fennel, so I skipped the chutney. The squash came out very salty, despite my wiping it off one, by one. And, it was not crispy at all, although it did certainly get fully done. I think the flavor might be quite good, but I have to solve the salt problem before I will make again.
Exbruxelles November 15, 2013
This is a really good idea. The skin on my Delicata seemed a little leathery to eat, even when cooked, so I peeled it. Also, even at 1/2 inch, over medium-high heat, the squash would have burned before being cooked through…so I added a quarter cup of water and covered it. By the time the water evaporated, there was enough oil left in the pan to re-crisp the rings. Apple and fennel are an excellent combination and a pickling idea I'll steal for other applications. Thanks for the recipe.
triplip October 17, 2013
This is really tasty, but I'd change the relish ratio a bit. There were way too many currants!!
LBosworth29 December 20, 2012
I want to bring this dish to our family Christmas Eve party but it must survive a 45 minute car ride, then sit for an hour or two before dinner is served. Should I cook the delicata at my destination or can I pre-cook and heat back up before dinner (microwave or oven?)
TheWimpyVegetarian December 22, 2012
You can do it either way, LBosworth29. The difference will be the crispy part - when you reheat it, it will likely not be crispy, but that might not matter too much since they're not super crispy anyway. I would hold off on doing the finishing touches with lime until you're ready to serve them. Hope you enjoy them!!
DeirdreMS November 8, 2012
Would this work roasting the squash instead of frying?
TheWimpyVegetarian November 8, 2012
Yes and no. It would taste the same, but the texture would likely be different - a little less crispy. But still good!
koechin November 7, 2012
i did this with a small acorn squash and increased the roasting time a bit. superb!
TheWimpyVegetarian November 8, 2012
Yay! I'm so glad it worked for you. I love acorn squash too :-)
Holly Z. November 6, 2012
I made this last night and my squash was too undercooked. I suggest cooking for a bit longer and making sure your pieces are cut at exactly the right size. The relish was spot on. I will be making this again but I might change it up a bit with how I cook the squash.
TheWimpyVegetarian November 6, 2012
Thanks for the feedback! I've also kept them warm in an oven until the rest of the meal is ready, and that last bit of heat can soften them a bit too. But it definitely depends on how thick they are, how hot the pan is, and if they're cut to the same thickness. Great tip!
Holly Z. October 29, 2012
I just tried delicata this week. I will be making it again and I will use this recipe. Sounds and looks good.
TheWimpyVegetarian October 29, 2012
I love delicata and always have it around this time of year. I hope you like the dish if you make it :-)
KSanJose January 9, 2012
Delicious. I used cooked quince instead of apple.
TheWimpyVegetarian January 9, 2012
Great idea with quince! I'm glad you liked it!
Leburk November 23, 2011
easy and two favorite things in one recipe ! I didn't have cider or currants so I used orange juice and dried cranberries......mmmm ......such a festive presentation....thanks
TheWimpyVegetarian November 24, 2011
I'm so glad you liked them!! I love the idea of orange juice and dried cranberries too! And yes, that would be beautiful. Thanks so much for letting me know.
Panfusine November 4, 2011
Making them for dinner tonite..
TheWimpyVegetarian November 4, 2011
Oh! I hope you like them Panfusine! I'd love to hear your thoughts, and any changes you make!
kaupilimakoa October 30, 2011
These were a big hit at the food52 cookbook launch! Super easy and delicious, thanks! They will likely appear on our Thanksgiving table.
TheWimpyVegetarian October 30, 2011
Wow! i'm so honored that they would have been served there! I'm so happy you liked them!! Thanks so much for letting me know, kaupilimakoa!
Chef S. October 28, 2011
I made these for supper last night and it was delicious and so easy! I'll certainly make them again. Thanks for a great recipe!
TheWimpyVegetarian October 28, 2011
Thanks for letting me know ChefSharon!! I'm so glad they worked out so well for you!
Lizthechef October 22, 2011
I have been meaning to make that since you posted - what a great recipe...
TheWimpyVegetarian October 22, 2011
Thanks so much, Liz! I really appreciate it ;-)
midnitechef February 3, 2011
I took this in another direction by using some Indian spice the finishing it off with fresh lime juice.
TheWimpyVegetarian February 3, 2011
Yum! That sounds great to me. I think I'll do that next time too!
Glutton F. January 3, 2011
Apples are the memory fruit. I love this elegant recipe and can't wait to try it. Check out my blog, "Glutton for Reward" at
TheWimpyVegetarian January 10, 2011
Thanks Glutton For Reward! I hope you try it - I'd love to hear what you think. Love your blog, by the way. Lots of interesting information there!