Fans of squash, the vegan husband and I are not.
After receiving a Delicata from my Dad, I began to fret over how to prepare what to me was an unfamiliar squash.
And worse than that, I realized, we were actually going to have to eat the thing (I have written in the past that I try not to waste anything).
After a little research I learned that this squash, a fruit, is also referred to as peanut squash, Bohemian squash and sweet potato squash. It is a summer squash but classed as a winter squash because of its late maturation and hard flesh. Its skin is delicate and edible once cooked. It is low in calories and has no fat. It is high in vitamin A and C and is a good source of fiber, potassium, magnesium and manganese.
Once I read the words sweet potato squash, I made the decision to prepare it with a flavor profile similar to sweet potato pie. I knew I wouldn’t execute it with the sugar, dairy and eggs that normally go with that sort of recipe but I did want to sweeten it up.
After all, how else could you get that stuff down?
Pure maple syrup and cinnamon proved to be an easy solution and we were not disappointed.
At the same time that I was contemplating the use of the fruit, I came across a recipe for a chickpea fillet sandwich on the Food Network that included the use of a delicata. My preparation of this squash and the Food Network’s patty recipe were a perfect fit. The sandwich is layered with flavors that marry and complement one another perfectly, especially the sweet and spicy. This sandwich is now one of our favorites.
The patties (prior to slicing and baking), cole slaw and aioli can be prepared well in advance of the squash.
You will notice that my slaw looks very pink! That was due to, on picture day, my use of more red cabbage than my cole slaw recipe indicates. I was just playing around!
Recipe adapted from the Food Network
1 1/2 c chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne, (reduce to 1/8 tsp if using good quality/fresh cayenne in conjunction with my Asian Slaw recipe)
2 ½ c water
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1 delicata squash
coconut oil, for roasting
Maple syrup, 100% pure – enough to line bottom of squash
1/2 c tahini
1/4 -1/2 c water, depending on how thick you want your sauce
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
I made my Asian Slaw, here
For the patties:
With the exception of the cilantro, the ingredients and directions for the patty portion of this sandwich are from the Food Network site:
“In a heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, mix the chickpea flour, salt, cumin, black pepper and cayenne. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups water while stirring with a flat-bottomed wooden spatula. Avoid lots of lumps of flour, but a few are ok. While stirring almost constantly, gradually lower the heat as the mixture thickens.” Add the cilantro when most of the water has been absorbed. “Once it is thickened and the mixture pulls away from the sides and bottom of the pot when you stir it, it is done. It should take 10 to 15 minutes”. (1)
Transfer the patty mixture to the sheet pan (lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper) and spread it evenly, covering the entire pan. Cool completely.
For the squash:
Preheat the oven to 350 °.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Lightly coat the skin of the Delicata with coconut oil. Place on a sheet pan, skin down. Add maple syrup, enough to line bottom of squash. Brush the maple syrup over the flesh of the squash. There should be some that pools at the bottom after brushing. Sprinkle flesh with cinnamon. Bake 20 minutes and score squash, re-brush the maple syrup. Remove squash from oven once easily pierced with a knife, 30 to 45 minutes depending on size. Allow to cool. Scrape squash from skin and mix using a spoon or fork.
For the aioli:
Add all the ingredients together and mix well. Refrigerate to thicken.
For the slaw:
See instructions on my Asian Slaw post
Slice chick pea into appropriate size for a sandwich. Cook chickpea on stove top or bake in 350 ° oven for 3-5 minutes on each side.
Assemble sandwich with or without a bun starting with coleslaw, followed by patty and squash. Top with aioli.
We are not at the point where we are hankering for squash, but at least it’s a start. Please leave a squash recipe or a comment..
(1) Sandri, Kevin. Chickpea Sandwich. Food Network, 2016. Web 30 Sept, 2016.