Thursday, October 13, 2011

Delicata Squash, Chick Peas and Toasted Gnocchi

I have to admit I actually learned something of value watching Chopped on the Food Network!  Not one week after watching an episode that involved Delicata Squash, we got some (and by some I mean loads) in our CSA.  Even though we had seen the show, the squash still looked like the gourds you use for decoration at Thanksgiving, to the point where we actually asked if that's what they were!  Luckily using Gojee, I found a recipe that uses a whole lot of the squash.

The Ingredients...
The Necessities (adapted from EatingWell)...

  • - 1 pound frozen or shelf-stable gnocchi
  • - 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • - 2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled delicata squash (1- to 2-inch-long slices)
  • - 1/2 cup sliced shallots (1-2 medium)
  • - 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • - 1 14-ounce can veggie broth equivalent
  • - 2 tablespoons raisins
  • - 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • - 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • - 4 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • - 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed
  • - 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 

It can be used in place of butternut squash and is a lot easier to use because you do not have to peel off theo outer skin!  This makes the prep work fairly simple, however, with all the squash we had on hand it did take me some time to cut it all up.

Delicata Squash
So Pretty!
All Sliced Up
I more than doubled the amount of squash the recipe called for because I wanted to use up what we had.  I knew I would be more than happy to take some in for lunch the next day.

To begin, I smashed the garlic and the finely chopped the shallots.

All chopped up
While chopping, I toasted the gnocchi in a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet.  After about 6 minutes they had some nice color on them.  Once browned, I put it aside in a bowl to add back later.
Toasted Gnocchi
I then added the remaining oil to the pan and tossed in the squash, shallots, and garlic and stirred.
Loads of squash
After about 2 minutes I added the broth, raisins, sage and pepper and brought the whole thing to a boil.
Waiting to boil
Once it was bubbling away, I turned down the heat and allowed the ingredients to simmer until the squash was cooked through.  This took about 10 minutes because the squash was a bit too thickly cut (whoops!).  I added the chick peas and spinach and stirred it all up until the spinach started to wilt.  This also took a bit longer because my pan was pretty full - I probably should have went to the 14 inch pan due to the amount of squash I used!  Finally I added back the gnocchi and gave the dish one final stir.
All mixed up
From there I simply plated the dish in a large bowl and garnished with a heavy drizzle of the balsamic vinegar.
Served and ready to eat!
I really like my first experience with the delicata squash.  It is not as sweet as the butternut, which made the dish more savory than I was expecting.  The addition of the sage and balsamic vinegar created a lot of depth that worked so well with the flavors of the squash.  To be honest, while I love gnocchi, it was a bit of overkill with the chick peas.  The dish had plenty going on and didn't need the pasta.  That said, it did make for another lovely texture in each bit.  Nothing like a great one-pot dish for a weekday meal!


  1. I absolutely love meals like this! Hearty, easy, healthy. I'll be having something similar tonight: leftover squash, brussel sprouts and chickpeas!

  2. That looks like such an interesting squash dish. I've been in love with delicata squash ever since I made this recipe where you roast it and then stuff it with a quinoa salad with apples and currants.

  3. Don't think i have ever had delicata squash?! this is a great dish!

  4. delicata's are definitely good, but i still tend to reach for butternuts first :)


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