Each fall season I gather up the different squash available at the market, always on the look-out for delicata squash among the more standard acorn and butternut. Delicata squash is a winter squash meaning that it has a hard interior flesh. But it crosses over to summer squash like zucchini in that the thin skin can be eaten. A real bonus when it comes to winter squash as most have inedible skin and it can be difficult to peel away the skin.
The delicata squash are the two sitting on top of the pile with a long shape and stripes. The other squash are spaghetti, acorn and kaleidoscope which is similar to acorn.
The delicata squash rings were put together on a whim one morning. The thought came to me that Parmesan cheese might pair really well with the squash. I've made them numerous times now for breakfast as the flavor and texture remind me of potatoes, so think hashbrowns. The squash rings would make a nice appetizer with a glass of crisp white Italian wine, or as a side dish to Chicken Parmesan.
Making the rings is more of a process than a recipe. Simply slice across the squash cutting the squash into 1/4-inch rounds. Lay each round piece on the flat side, using a spoon scrape out the seeds.
Working with a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat, drizzle in a tablespoon of oil placing the squash rings in a single layer in the pan, sprinkle the salt over the rings. Allow the rings to cook without moving them for 1-2 minutes, then add in the butter in small pieces to evenly distribute among the squash rings. The butter will sizzle and bubble. Keep the squash rings on side one for several minutes until this first side is golden brown. The butter will help the squash to brown and add great flavor. Once side one is brown and the squash is now mostly cooked through, flip over each ring to cook on side two for just a brief minute. Sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese, then immediately turn off the heat. Transfer the squash rings and Parmesan to a plate.