Found this recipe on the Yellow House blog, written by food and garden blogger Sarah Searle, who also lives in rural VA. She credits Domenica Marchetti’s “The Glorious Vegetables of Italy” for the original recipe. Haven’t gone back to look at the original, but I adapted a tad after I demoed it at Brookside Gardens October 22, 2014. I like red pepper flakes, what can I say. Delicatas, incidentally, are a lovely mesh of summer and winter squash — they have the dulcet sweetness of a butternut, but you don’t peel them and the skin, while not absent like a zucchini, is soft and pleasantly chewy. You could also substitute butternut — or use both.
1 pound delicata squash
1/3 C olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
1 T light brown sugar
3 T white wine, red wine, or sherry vinegar
pinch red pepper flakes
¼ t salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh mint, chopped
Trim the delicata squash on both ends. Halve lengthwise, remove seeds and slice in ¼-inch thick half moon slices. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil with the garlic over medium-low heat, cooking it until it is fragrant but not at all browned. Press down on the garlic cloves with a spatula or wooden spoon to release their flavor. Remove the garlic. Arrange a layer of the squash slices in the heated oil. Cook, turning once or twice, until they are beginning to be golden, with some chestnut spots, on each side, but not mushy. Remove the slices with a slotted spoon or spatula and continue to work in batches until you’ve cooked all the squash slices this way. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar and sugar. Return the squash slices to the skillet and add the vinegar-sugar mix. Season with some salt an pepper, and carefully toss the squash in the mixture until it reduces and coats the slices. This won’t take long. Taste for salt and season more if necessary.Don’t agitate them too much, or else they’ll start to fall apart. You can serve the squash right away, but Marchetti suggests transferring it to a platter, covering it, allowing it to sit for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle, and serving at room temperature. It is good either way.
Scatter the chopped mint over the squash before serving.