Delicata Delicacy

Have you ever seen a better vegetable for stuffing than the humble delicata squash? Each perfect yellow and green-striped edible tube becomes an ideal vessel for every sort of filling imaginable, no matter how you cut or cook it. I’m no stranger to the concept, but all sorts of inspiration has steered my seasonings in an entirely different direction since those first filled squash emerged from the oven.

Allow me to introduce to you a prime candidate for your new Thanksgiving main dish, replete with a very posh-sounding beluga lentil filling. Sparkling like legume caviar within their roasted golden delicata containers, these particular lentils eschew the typical autumnal spices found on every festive table in favor of more worldly flavors. Infused with an aromatic blend of cumin, mustard seeds, and jalapeno, this entry is guaranteed to spice up the traditional feast. Spiced rather than spicy, it’s designed to suit a wide range of palates, subtle enough not to offend those who appreciate less heat but want abundant umami to savor on their plates.

Complimenting that distinctive piquancy is a creamy cashew-based raita, replete with cooling mint leaves and crisp diced cucumber. Don’t even dream of skipping it; that rich final flourish ties together the meal, elevating the dish into something truly memorable. It’s the kind of surprisingly easy dinner that eaters will rave about for years to come, but by all means, don’t just save it for an annual event. Stuffed delicata are delightful all autumn and winter, if not beyond those seasonal boundaries, too.

Like all the best Thanksgiving dishes, stuffed delicata are rock stars for prepping in advance and waiting patiently until their solo arrives. Bake and stuff them as written, cover the casserole dish with foil, and simply reheat in a 350 degree oven for 10 – 20 minutes when the party begins.

Yield: Makes 4 Main Dish Servings; Cut the Halves in Half for 8 Side Dish Servings

Beluga Lentil-Stuffed Delicata Squash with Cashew Raita

Beluga Lentil-Stuffed Delicata Squash with Cashew Raita

Infused with an aromatic blend of cumin, mustard seeds, and jalapeno, this entree is guaranteed to spice up the traditional feast. Complimenting that distinctive piquancy is a creamy cashew-based raita, replete with cooling mint leaves and crisp diced cucumber.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

Beluga Lentil-Stuffed Delicata Squash

  • 2 Medium Delicata Squashes (About 1 Pound Each)

Lentil Stuffing:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Shallots, Finely Diced
  • 1 Jalapeno, Seeded and Finely Diced
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Whole Cumin Seeds
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Whole Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Cup Dry Beluga Lentils
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2/3 Cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3/4 – 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Cashew Raita:

  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews Pieces, Soaked for About 4 Hours
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint Leaves, Roughly Chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 – 3 Persian Cucumbers, Finely Diced

Instructions

  1. Although it’s the last addition to your stuffed squashes, it would be
    wise to prepare the cashew raita first so that it’s ready to go when
    you are. Thoroughly drain your soaked cashews and toss them in your
    blender along with the chopped mint, lemon juice, water, and salt.
    Puree, pausing to scrape down the sides of the canister with a spatula
    as needed, until completely silky-smooth. This process may take longer
    if you use a lower-powered model, but stick with it; that creamy texture
    is important for successful raita. Once perfectly velvety, stir in the
    cucumber pieces by hand. Store in an air-tight container and keep
    refrigerated prior to serving.
  2. For the filling, heat the olive oil in a medium pot over moderate
    heat before tossing in the diced shallots and jalapeno. Saute until
    translucent before introducing the cumin and mustard seeds next. Cook
    until the vegetables are lightly caramelized and the entire mixture is
    highly aromatic. Add the lentils and broth, cover, and bring to a boil.
    Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes
    when the lentils become tender. Add the coconut milk, vinegar, and salt
    and pepper to taste. Keep the pot partially covered and simmer for an
    additional 5 – 10 minutes, until the final liquid addition has been
    absorbed. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, as the lentils cook, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut
    both squash in half lengthwise and scoop out (but reserve) seeds. Place
    each half with the cut sides down on a lightly greased baking sheet and
    bake for about 30 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the flesh.
    Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes before
    handling.
  4. Reduce the heat to 250, toss the reserved seeds with just a splash of
    oil and a pinch of salt, and roast for just 10 – 20 minutes, stirring
    frequently to prevent them from burning. Once golden and crisp, let them
    cool completely.
  5. To complete the dish, flip the roasted delicata squashes up to turn
    them into edible boats and spoon the warm lentils inside. Serve the
    cashew raita alongside for guests to top their squashes as desired, and
    finish with a sprinkle of roasted seeds.

Notes

Stuffed delicata can be prepped up to 3 days in advance. Bake and stuff them as written, cover the casserole dish with foil, and simply reheat in a 350 degree oven for 10 – 20 minutes when ready to serve.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 476 Total Fat: 30g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 1151mg Carbohydrates: 44g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 13g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 15g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.
 

 

 

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21 thoughts on “Delicata Delicacy

  1. Beautiful recipe and PERFECT dish for vegan guests at the Thanksgiving table (or any time)! LOVE the warmth of this hefty filling topped by cooling raita. Delicata squash is my favorite- both for it’s ease of handling and it’s super flavor. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Num, num, Hannah! I’ll write this down as something for Thanksgiving. Hope yours is wonderful and I hope you’re warmer there than we are in the Chicago area right now!!

    janet

  3. What a wonderful meal, I fall in love with it when I saw your pictures, thanks! But, I have not much energy to cook after last week staying in hospital. Now, is my rest time at home, hope I can get back my energy in the kitchen soon.

  4. Hannah, how did you manage to make squash look so delicious and mouthwatering!! I like the creative addition of the lentil filling. Inspired to make this dish! It sounds really good!

  5. I made this for Thanksgiving, and it was UNBELIEVABLE. All my omnivorous friends went crazy for it. I will definitely be making this again and using the lentil recipe as a go-to even when I don’t have it in me to clean squash :)

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