Gluten-free Roasted Delicata Squash with Cinnamon-Toasted Hazelnuts and Pomegranate is a beautiful way to celebrate the flavors of the season.
Of all the possible addictions that people battle, I think winter squash might just take the cake for strangest. But really, I admit 100% that I’m an addict and I may or may not need help, lol.
Delicata squash in particular is my weakness.
I just about always go for it the same way: roasted with a touch of salt and pepper until it’s gorgeously golden and slightly crispy on one side. Roasting pulls out the sweet earthy notes of the squash and I’m telling you, roasted delicata is more addictive than French fries. Really!
Now, normally I’ll just slice and roast up a squash, munching on the slices while they’re still hot on the baking tray, and call it a day, but here I took things up a notch. I toasted some hazelnuts with cinnamon and added fresh pomegranate and some crumbled Stella Fontinella cheese and whoa.
Let’s talk for a quick minute about Stella Fontinella; if you’ve never had it, it’s worth a try. It’s a semi-hard cheese with a nice balance of subtly sweet and sharp flavors. You can shred, slice, or crumble it, and it melts nicely. I find it in the cheese case at Wegmans (as if I needed another reason to love Weggies), but your local artisanal cheese shop may carry it or you can substitute crumbled Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, or even goat cheese if you can’t find it.
You can serve this salad on a bed of greens for lunch, or as a side dish for dinner. It’s such a pretty and festive-looking salad, I think it would be a beautiful addition to a holiday meal!
What’s your favorite kind of winter squash?
Want to learn more about winter squash? Check out this guide on Cooking Light!
- 1 (1 to 1¼ lbs/455 to 570 g) delicata squash, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced into about ⅓-inch/8.5 mm slices (no need to peel)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons pomegranate arils
- 1 oz (30 g) crumbled Stella Fontinella cheese
- 1 sprig fresh parsley, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Toss together the squash, oil, salt, and pepper, and spread it out on a large baking sheet. Roast until golden on the bottom, about 25 minutes. (I don’t flip it.)
- Meanwhile, toast the hazelnuts and cinnamon in a medium skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Transfer the squash to a serving platter and top with the cinnamon-toasted hazelnuts, pomegranate arils, crumbled cheese, and parsley.