I am always looking for ways to cut down on prep, especially for weeknights dinners and special events. Sometimes this can be a simple as having to chop less! This healthy recipe, Delicata Squash with Dukkah and Pomegranate, needs very little prep and it cooks in the oven which means most of the cook time is hands-free. You know that’s my thing! Vegan and Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Dairy Free, it’s crazy delicious and loaded with good for you nutrients.
What is Delicata Squash?
Delicata squash is a favorite in our house because talk about no-prep, the skin is edible so you don’t have to worry about peeling it. My go-to method of prep used to be halve it, seed it and then cut it into slices or half-moons as I like to say. Then one day I was rushing so into the over they went, no peeling! I loved the result.
Delicata squash is a variety of winter squash with a light colored skin that often boasts speckles or stripes of green or orange. As its name suggests, it has characteristically a delicate skin or rind which is why you can eat it. Shaped like a large pickle, it’s has also been known as bohemian squash after my own heart. Mild and nutty in flavor, the sweetness is mild enough that it isn’t overwhelming.
You can even put Delicata on a salad! Try this. It’s perfect for the holidays!
What is Dukkah?
I introduced you to dukkah last fall when we made a salmon recipe and a soup recipe that used this spice blend. I never want to introduce you to ingredients that you can only use once because it’s a waste. Hence my inspiration to bring it back around again. Pronounced doo-kuh, this aromatic blend of nuts, herbs and spices is of Egyptian descent. As you would imagine, this blend can take many forms though coriander, sesame and hazelnuts tend show up in most varieties. Want to make you own, it’s easy. Once you have it around the house (I keep mine in the fridge to keep the nuts happy and fresh) you’ll find you start adding it to everything from roasted root vegetables to savory yogurt spreads. If you don’t have time, no big deal. Trader Joe’s is on it! They just started carrying their own blend in the spice aisle or you can purchase it from amazon here. Amazing! Here is my DIY blend if you’re in the mood –your kitchen will smell glorious.
DIY Dukkah Recipe
- 1/3 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 6-8 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a food processor.
- In a skillet, toast the sesame seeds, cumin and coriander over medium heat until fragrant; 1- 2 minutes. Transfer to the food processor along with the dried thyme. Season with salt and pepper
- Pulse the mixture until it is coarsely ground.
You might feel compelled to season the squash with the dukkah before it goes into the oven but it’s important to have restraint. The nuts in the blend will burn when roasted for too long so hold off and add a sprinkle at the end instead!
I added a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds as well. They are a rich source of minerals like magnesium and calcium and they’re festive this time of year. Plus, the added crunch is the perfect foil to the creamy, sweet squash.
###Scroll Down for the Complete Recipe and Don’t forget to try the salmon and soup recipes to use up any leftover spice blend!
Like This Recipe? Try This Parsnip and Pear Soup with Dukkah
Roasted Delicata Squash with Dukkah and Pomegranate
- 2 Delicata Squash, halved and seeded
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of orange zest
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon dukkah
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Wash the squash. Use a large, sharp knife to slice off the ends. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and string. You can discard this.
Set the squash cut-side-up on a baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, maple syrup and orange zest.
- Drizzle or brush onto the inside of each squash then season with salt and pepper.
- Place the squash cut-side-down to bake.
- Bake until the squash is fork tender. This usually takes 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and turn each piece cut-side-up. Sprinkle the inside with Dukkah then place it back in the over for 1-2 minutes or until the spices are aromatic.
- Remove from the over and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and pomegrante arils. Another drizzle of olive oil would serve you well at this time.