When delicata squash was recently at the height of its season, I stocked up on quite a bit of it. I’ve been storing it in an open container on my back porch. It’s been just the right environment to keep it fresh and tasty, but it’s now time to cook up that goodness. Or I run the risk of losing it.
This is a fairly easy straightforward recipe that I discovered on a food blog called Honestly Yum. The delicata squash is cut into rings, dredged in flour then dipped in a tasty batter consisting of flour, spices, vodka, and beer. The alcohol and carbonation give the final texture the lightest crunchiness imaginable.
If you are gluten intolerant, this recipe can be altered to be safe for you. Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free version. And be sure to use certified gluten-free vodka and beer. Most local stores carry gluten-free choices for their customers these days.
The squash is cut into 1/4-inch rings …just the right thickness so that they cook through before the batter coating gets too brown. The seeds and membranes can be removed from each ring. Or you can reach into the cut squash with a narrow spoon and scoop out a bunch as you go.
The prep on this one is minimal. You’ll see. The whole thing comes together so quickly. Once you dip the squash ring in the batter, it is then transferred immediately to the preheated oil.
The best way to maneuver these guys is to use long skewers, chopsticks or (as I did here) long fondue forks. If you give in to the temptation of using tongs, you run the risk of breaking into the crunchy coating.
After a brief rest on a paper towel lined tray, your delicious crunchy squash rings are ready to be served. They really are best when enjoyed right away. If need be, you can always reheat them in a 450°F oven for five minutes or less.
The dip that is pictured here is my family’s favorite …Robert Rothschild Onion Blossom Horseradish Dip. I am usually able to find it at my local Bed, Bath & Beyond. Otherwise, it can be ordered directly from Robert Rothschild online. One of these days, I’d love to be able to say that I created a homemade sauce similar to this one. When that happens, you’ll be the first to know.
delicata squash rings
Recipe from Honestly Yum.
Top off these delicious rings with fried fresh herbs and flaked sea salt. Dipping sauce optional.
- neutral oil (enough to fill a large pan to 1 1/2-inch deep)
- 2 small delicata squash
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (for gluten-free, use certified GF flour)
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup light ale, cold (for gluten-free, use certified GF beer)
- 1/2 cup plain vodka (for gluten-free, use certified GF plain vodka)
- several sprigs fresh rosemary
- flaked sea salt, for garnish
Heat the oil in a large pan to 320°F.
Place 1 cup of the flour in a bowl; set aside. Slice the delicata squash in rings about 1/4 inch thick. Remove the seeds and loose fiber. Dredge the rings in the flour.
Combine the remaining 3/4-cup flour, rice flour, salt, baking soda, onion powder and garlic powder in a large bowl. Add the beer and vodka to the flour mixture and whisk just until you have a smooth wet batter.
Place the flour-coated squash rings, a few at a time, in the bowl with the batter. Tap off the excess batter and using a skewer or chopstick, place the battered ring in the pan with the preheated oil.
Fry the rings until golden, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove and drain on a rack or paper towels.
When you’re done frying all the rings, drop the sprigs of rosemary in the oil for about a minute on each side until it just starts to slightly brown. Remove the rosemary.
Sprinkle the fried rosemary and flaked sea salt over the rings. Serve immediately.