The first time I had this dish was two years ago, in Santa Cruz, while celebrating the wedding of a wonderful couple. In keeping with an old family custom, and so that we could easily identify the affiliation of each guest, one side was instructed to wear gold and the other white. Guests mingled to create a sea of gold, yellow, cream, beige and white, all joined together to form a new and beautiful family. It was a sight I hope never to forget. The simple beauty of this recipe continues to reminds me of the love and joy of which we all became a part on that beautiful October day.

2 delicata squash
1/4 cup hazelnuts, lightly roasted
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup pecans
2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

  1. Prepare a cookie sheet with foil, and preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Slice open the squashes lengthwise, remove seeds, and wipe the inside flesh with olive oil from your finger. This will take maybe 1 tsp. of the entire amount. Place on cookie sheet, and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  3. Rub the hazelnuts between your fingers (or shake in a small paper bag) until most of the skins are removed. Chop hazelnuts coarsely with a sharp knife, and distribute evenly on the squash halves.
  4. Sprinkle pecans directly onto the squash halves. Sprinkle with remaining olive oil.
  5. Place in oven for approx. 25-35 min until flesh yields easily to a fork. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and dried cranberries. Serves 2.

This dish makes a magnificent meal all by itself, but especially with the addition of a simple green leaf lettuce salad, dressed with just olive oil and lemon juice. Delicata is a small, lovely squash that looks gorgeous and tastes the same. It’s a little bit sweet, and a little bit not. Plus you can eat the skin of the delicata — so enjoy!

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