The other day I was casually strolling through Trader Joe’s (my first kid-free shopping trip in awhile) and I overheard a sweet woman ask her elderly mother what in the heck kind of squash it was that she was holding and what on earth she could do with it in terms of cooking. I feel like my ears are always perked up a bit in the store, and it must be all of my years of experience with grocery shopping and cooking but I couldn’t help myself: I turned to her and answered,
Well, that’s a Delicata Squash! It’s amazing, you can roast it, eat the skin and all and it’s perfectly sized for single servings!!
She seemed grateful for the help, and by the time I was done chatting with her I had given her some recipe tips. She threw a few in her cart and off she went. I continued along, blissfully and slowly moving through each and every aisle, sometimes back tracking gleefully (typically with kids that’s cause for frustation) to grab something I forgot on my list or decided very much that I wanted right.now.
I’m sure all of you know by now that I try to be as impartial as possible when it comes to showcasing stores for you. In fact, coming up I’ll be highlighting my favorite holiday dishes that can be prepared from each store using ingredients that are unique to each chain. However, I can also guess that it’s no secret: Trader Joe’s is my favorite. Yes, Harris Teeter and I have been in a very long-term relationship, Whole Foods is my go-to for seafood and meat, and Wegmans is my happy place when I’m feeling down. But TJ’s has what I need, at the right price and is oh so fun to shop in!
With a big smile on my face, I circled back around to the squash section and grabbed a couple of delicatas, excited to come home and do some recipe dev for all of you out there that might also need help with these adorable winter squash delights. With that, meet:
Stuffed Delicata Squash for Breakfast
The thing is, squash can get waaaaay overdone this time of year. And I find that it always holds a strong place at the dinner table. Why not invite it to breakfast, instead?
The process of preparing this delicious breakfast is simple enough. I’d suggest making them in advance, even, and serving them on Thanksgiving morning as an alluring appetizer to the day’s marathon eating to come. You can certainly make these vegan as well, or add meat (crumbled, browned sausage comes to mind), however I chose to throw in just a bit of flavored scrambled eggs, topped with a small square of Swiss, flavored & buttered breadcrumbs and toasted pine nuts.
Ditch the egg and add stuffing instead for a Thanksgiving side dish that has the potential to be a regular contender in years to come.
Happy early Thanksgiving, and stay tuned for many more recipes and ideas to come! Visit this year’s Thanksgiving page for more inspiration as we gear up for a successful holiday filled with family and friends.
Stuffed Delicata Squash for Breakfast
Yield 1 serving
Soft insides with a crunchy and flavorful topping, these egg-stuffed delicata squash slices are heavenly, easy and inexpensive to make and can be done it advance of Thanksgiving so all you need do is reheat and serve to your guests during food prep.
1 delicata squash, ends removed and sliced into three or four 2-inch rounds
2 Tbsp heavy cream or half and half
1 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp pepper or red pepper flakes
1 slice Swiss cheese, cut or torn into 4 equal squares
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp melted butter or olive oil
1 pinch each of salt, pepper and dried parsley
1/2 cup pine nuts, raw
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Prep squash by slicing off just enough on each end that the rounds can sit flat but flesh still remains (read, you can't see the seeds). This will help prevent egg spillage during cooking. If you are not able to achieve this, don't worry: I have a trick. Read on...
- Whisk eggs with cream, onion salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Use a small teaspoon to remove seeds from each round. Place the rounds from either end closed-side down, and then the middle rounds flat-side down in a glass pie plate.
- Make the breadcrumb mixture by mixing breadcrumbs with melted butter or olive oil, salt pepper and dried parsley.
- Fill the middle rounds with a bit of bread crumb mixture to seal them, then pour egg mixture evenly into each, allowing a little bit of space at the top of each for the eggs to expand while cooking.
- Cover each top with a small square of torn Swiss, followed by the breadcrumb mixture and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove and top with raw pine nuts. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until pine nuts are browned.
- Enjoy hot, warm, or cold. Freeze and reheat when ready as needed!