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delicata squash with rosemary, sage & apple cider glaze

Tonight’s dinner a simple oven-roasted chicken.  (There’s very little in fact that’s simpler than that. I love the leftovers it leaves us too, and I already have a plan for those Thursday.) With tonight’s chicken, a green salad of arugula,  sliced apples, blue cheese and toasted walnuts. Finally, the post of the day, delicata squash cooked in a skillet with cider and winter herbs. Active prep time for a dinner like this… minutes.

But first, I simply have to show you something. The other day I went to the store with my dear friend Carolyn and she pointed out an apple I’d never tried, not even seen before. Pink pearl. Now how can a person resist an apple (or, for that matter, almost any food) with a name like pink pearl? Being a curious eater, I couldn’t. On the outside, this apple wore the sweetest golden sunrise color, tinged with soft petal pink. It shone, almost iridescent, like the pearl from which it got its name.

But cut into it,

which almost hurts to do,

it’s so very beautiful,

and that’s when it hits you!

Surprise!

You weren’t expecting this, were you!? Oh, me neither!

And that leaves us  wondering, can the taste possibly measure up? It does! Tart-sweet, snappy and fairly squirting juice! What an apple! What an apple!

That’s the beauty that’s going into tonight’s salad. I’ll snap a picture when she’s done, and you’ll find it at the bottom of the post.

~ ~ ~

Delicata Squash with Rosemary, Sage and Apple Cider Glaze

(serves 6)

  • 2 medium delicata squash (about 2 pounds) or other firm winter squash
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup very coarsely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 Tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1½ cups fresh unfiltered apple cider or juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper

Prepare the squash – peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, then cut it lengthwise in half. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon. (A serrated grapefruit spoon works great for this job.) Cut each piece in half again, then cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces.

Make the herb butter – In a 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Add the sage and rosemary and cook, stirring all the while, until the butter just begins to turn a lovely golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. You do not want to brown the herbs! You’re simply looking to mellow their flavor and soften their texture.

Cooking – Add the squash to the skillet, then the cider, water, vinegar and salt. Stirring occasionally, cook it over medium heat at an easy even boil until the liquids have cooked down to a glaze and the squash is tender to a fork – about 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper, and more salt if needed.

~ ~ ~

A look at tonight’s salad – arugula, creamy gorgonzola, roasted walnuts & the star, in her debuting role, Pink Pearl Apple – all tossed in the simplest of dreamy dressings, aged balsamic vinegar & a good olive oil

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Two home runs. I had butternut and yellow squash in my stir fry tonight among a number of other fresh vegetables, but I love squash both for its own delicate taste and because it can also absorb many flavors so I look forward to trying this version–your photography as usual whets my appetite. And yes, the pink pearl apple is quite beautiful and I will definitely seek those out as well. I rarely make mono-color meals–a good part of the satisfaction of cooking comes from the array of colors on the plate and this apple certainly delights the eye.

    October 11, 2011
  2. Mama, I do not exaggerate when I say this: my heart feels ready to burst with the amazingly vibrant, yet gentle hues of these foods. You inspire me to look at cooking, at bounty in new ways. What a glorious surprise! Thank you!

    October 11, 2011
  3. Mari Anna #

    You describe things so well Spree.Your photography complements your understanding. Another nutritious tempting entree. Thank-you!

    October 11, 2011
  4. This is my first visit to your blog. I love your photography and your recipes look delicious… I’m off to explore more:)

    October 12, 2011
  5. deb #

    I may attempt replicating your exact chicken dinner this week. Thank you for the delicious sounding, simple, yet perfect fall menu idea(s)! I am going on a hunt for the pink pearls as well 🙂

    October 16, 2011

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