Its right in the midst of fall, and my slacker self still lingers on it seems, for the Panfusine posts alone. My daily blog A Dish a Day steadily marches on towards the finishing line, hovering around the 300th post as I type this up. It was a great creative 8 days of making as many different 'Sundals' , (a South Indian Sauteed bean / lentils dish ), for the Festival of Navratri, The ninth day (today) having tragically cancelled due to the passing of a beloved cousin. Its hard to think of anything else today but the memories of my loving caring brother. But force myself I must.
With the change in season comes the bounty of squashes & pumpkins, one of them being the diminutive delicata squash. With a skin so fine that it slices effortlessly under the sharp blade of a mandolin, this variety of squash is perfect for tempura, bhajias and roasted salads.
With thin slices, it was delicious to discover that the squash transformed itself into healthy chips, crisped up in an oven seasoned simply with a dash of salt, paprika and a splash of olive oil. The Sugars in the squash tend to caramelize and crisp up rather than the starches frying up as is the case with potatoes and yams. Net result, the delicata slices get a lovely fried texture at lower temperatures and practically no oil. (most of oil used I in the chips, stayed behind as blobs on the baking sheet.)
4 smallish delicata squash
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and paprika to taste
Heat the oven to 225 F.
Slice the blossom end of the delicata squash (with the scar) and scoop out the seeds.
Slice the squash using a mandolin (the thin setting). Toss well in a large mixing bowl with the oil,salt and paprika so that the seasoning coats the slices evenly)
Line 2 baking sheets with Aluminum foil and add the slices in a single layer. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 40 minutes, taking care to rotate the trays at 10 minute intervals. At about 20 minutes, some of the slices will have crisped up to a light brown. Transfer these slices onto a dish.
From this point on, keep inspecting the slices at 5 minute intervals and removing them once they've changed color.