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The oblong Delicata (pronounced dehl-ih-CAH-tah) has a pale yellow skin with green markings and often ranges in size from 5 to 9 inches in length to 1 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. Unlike summer squash (which are picked when immature and skins are tender), Delicata Squash have hard, thick skins and only the flesh is eaten. The delicious yellow meat is reminiscent of sweet potatoes and butternut squash and can be baked or steamed. Combined with butter and fresh herbs, Delicata Squash is good source of vitamins A and C.
Choose squash that have a hard, deep-colored rind free of blemishes or moldy spots. Tender skin indicates immaturity or poor quality. The hard skin protects the flesh and allows it to store longer than summer squash. Store Delicata Squash in a cool, preferably dark, well-ventilated area for up to one month. Wrap cut pieces in plastic and refrigerate up to five days.
Delicata Squash may be cooked whole or split lengthwise (removing seeds). Pierce whole squash in several places, and bake halved squash hollow side up.
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