Delicata Squash Parmesan Frico
Social media has no shortage of shortcomings, but on the culinary front, there is much to uncover. Indeed, Instagram and TikTok are teaming with food videos that range from idiotic to inspired (cracking an egg on a baby’s head goes into the former category). I’m hoping you’ll agree that today’s recipe for Delicata Squash Parmesan Frico falls squarely into the inspired category.
The idea for the recipe came to me after countless videos of crispy vegetables began to appear on my iphone (apparently my algorithm dictates babies, baby animals, and crispy vegetables, in that order).
The concept of cheesy roasted veggies had my attention, so when I discovered a forgotten squash in my produce bowl, I thought I’d do my own winter spin on things. This recipe is a vegetable-centric variation on the Italian snack frico, which involves baking little piles of cheese until they melt into crisp, lacy discs.
How to Make Delicata Squash Parmesan Frico
It’s hard to believe something so good can come out of so little. The recipe calls for just two core ingredients: squash and Parmesan cheese. The trick? It’s all about temperature and technique. Here’s the step-by-step:
- You start by cutting a delicata squash in half lengthwise.
- Next scoop out the seeds and stringy bits (and yes, you can roast the seeds just as you do with a pumpkin).
- Lay each half flesh-side-down and cut the squash into half moons that are about 1/8-inch thick.
- Sprinkle finely grated Parmesan in a thin layer over the surface of a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Arrange several neat rows of squash on top of the cheese.
- Bake until the squash is tender and the cheese is golden brown.
Can you Eat Delicata Squash Peel?
When I posted a video for this recipe on Instagram, plenty of people were surprised to learn that you can eat the peel of the squash. Actually, you can eat the peels of all squash, from pumpkin to butternut, but you may not want to. Most are fairly thick and fibrous. Delicata squash on the other hand, are relatively thin with a more delicate peel (as the name implies), so it’s perfectly edible. That peel also packs a bit of fiber, so is worth eating.
How to Serve Delicata Squash Parmesan Frico
What you should know first and foremost, is that this crispy squash is a “can’t keep my hands off the baking sheet” kind of recipe. That means, there might not be much ceremony to the serving, since it won’t likely make it out of your kitchen. I like to pull it from the oven and slide it onto a serving platter or big board and just let everyone dig in. Consider it the vegetable version of a pull apart bread.
If you like Crispy Delicata Squash Parmesan Frico, you might like:
Crispy Delicata Squash Parmesan Frico
This is a "can't just eat one" kind of recipe. The combination of tender, sweet squash and crispy Parmesan is uncommonly good. I recommend you buy a block of good quality Parmesan cheese and grate it yourself rather than buying pre-grated cheese. It's worth the extra bit of effort.
- 1 medium delicata squash
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese (on the medium holes of a box grater)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment.
Trim any stem off the squash. Cut in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Turn the squash cut-side-down on a cutting board and slice into 1/8-inch half moons. Put into a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and a light shower of freshly ground black pepper.
Scatter the Parmesan cheese over the surface of the baking sheet, leaving a border that's an inch or two from the edge. The cheese will be the "glue" for the squash, so avoid large gaps in the shredded cheese. Line up 4 tight rows of squash over the cheese, so each half moon nestles the one next to it.
Bake until the squash is tender and the cheese is deeply golden brown. Within a few minutes, the squash will be cool enough to touch, so dig right in, pulling off pieces of cheesy squash.