Monday, December 10, 2018

Squash and Sweet Potatoes in the Oven

It really feels like the season has changed to winter now. We've been getting rain, which is such a great thing since I live where most of our rainfall for the whole year happens between October and March, with the majority of that between December and February...when things are 'normal'. Unfortunately things haven't been that way for most of the last six years, with too little rain most years, so rain is even more welcome when it comes.

I spoke with my North Carolina sister Saturday... a belated birthday phone call...and they were expecting lots of snow that night and Sunday. Sure enough, I checked the news Sunday morning and they were calling it Snowmagedden. She stayed home by the fire and took it easy...a good plan. We are both missing our mother. The anniversary of her death comes up in a few days and we will toast Mom on Wednesday, and those doing the toast will include at least one other sibling, maybe more. She was an excellent Mom and, in later years, friend and she is always in my heart.

As the weather has gotten colder I've been spending more time in the kitchen, too. The cooler weather makes me want to bake and cook. I've made pea soup and lamb shanks. Neither was different from the posts, so not including the recipe, just the link. The squash and sweet potato dish that accompanied the leftover lamb shanks is a different take on a favorite. This time I didn't use butternut squash, just delicata squash and I used slices of peeled sweet potato to fill out the dish. The coating was different, too, with citrus peel and not very much cayenne pepper this time. It's a great dish with ham or chicken or turkey and it went well with the lamb shank, too.

Although this dish is roasted, not baked, it still is done in the oven and so I decided that it fit well enough with my December Baking theme. The slices of sweet potato and squash should be about the same thickness.

Delicata Squash and Sweet Potatoes with Olive Oil and Maple
Serve 4-6

2-3 cups peeled sweet potato, quartered and cut in slices
1 Delicata squash, seeds removed, peel removed if desired, cut in half and sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon dried orange peel in tiny pieces1/8 teaspoon dried powdered lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon marjoram
a dash cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a large plastic bag (I used clean produce bags from the market), combine the squash, olive oil, salt and pepper, maple syrup and dried peels and spices. Close bag tightly and shake to completely coat the squash with the wet ingredients and spices.

Pour coated mixture on the parchment lined sheet pan and use the bag to spread the squash and potato slices out in the pan into a single layer.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Use a spatula to turn the squash pieces over, then roast an additional 10 - 15 minutes until edges are browned and vegetables is softened.

Serve while hot.

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