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delicata is hard as a rock...now what?

rudysmom Oct 24, 2010 01:32 PM

picked up a delicata squash at the supermarket yesterday.
it is impossible to cut through!
if i leave it out for a while (days? weeks?), will it soften up, or should i just ditch it? (i'm guessing the paper bag trick doesn't work on squash)

  1. biondanonima Oct 24, 2010 01:46 PM

    You can nuke it or bake it whole for a bit - that will soften it enough to get a knife through it.

    1. c
      critter101 Oct 24, 2010 01:46 PM

      Try puncturing it a few times with the tip of a knife so it doesn't explode, and microwave it in small increments till it's soft enough to cut.

      1. todao Oct 24, 2010 01:46 PM

        By the time it softens up you probably won't want to eat it. I use a cleaver and a heavy wooden mallet (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=h...) with the squash held firmly in place so it doesn't slip out of control. I've heard that some folks use a vegetable peeler but I've never tried that.

        2 Replies
        1. re: todao
          greygarious Oct 24, 2010 02:18 PM

          You don't nuke it until it's soft, just until you can cut into it (similar to a non-nuked butternut squash). Then take it apart and cook it as you wish.

          1. re: todao
            eight_inch_pestle Oct 25, 2010 12:19 AM

            I'm a fan of the vegetable peeler.

          2. i
            Isolda Oct 24, 2010 02:16 PM

            It's absolutely fine. You just have to roast it before trying to cut, peel, or remove the seeds. Just prick it all over as others have said, put on a baking sheet and roast at 400F. Check after 20 minutes to gauge the rest of the roasting time. When it feels tender, take it out and let cool a bit. It will be easy to cut and peel.

            1. todao Oct 24, 2010 02:27 PM

              I'm throwin' away my mallet ....
              Old dogs can learn new tricks. : D

              5 Replies
              1. re: todao
                chowser Oct 24, 2010 02:38 PM

                I love the microwave for all hard squashes (poke w/ knife, do 2-3 minute increments. I found that I'd get stuck with the knife halfway through, not be able to finish it off, or pull the knife out, even if I used the mallet.

                1. re: todao
                  bushwickgirl Oct 24, 2010 06:56 PM

                  That mallet/cleaver approach is my technique for hubbard.

                  1. re: bushwickgirl
                    rudysmom Oct 25, 2010 05:29 AM

                    thanks, all squash experts!
                    i thought that the whole point of a delicata was that it was easier to slice through than those other big bad guys. this thing is too hard to even get the point of a knife in to poke holes.
                    i am going to try the very-short-increment nuke approach. if it explodes, i'll have something else to post about.

                    1. re: rudysmom
                      chowser Oct 25, 2010 05:40 AM

                      If you can't poke holes, do what you can and microwave in short (not too short) increments. Poke holes when you can, as it softens. The mallet on a sharp knife might help, too, to poke holes.

                      1. re: chowser
                        bushwickgirl Oct 25, 2010 08:29 PM

                        Ice pick?

                2. greygarious Oct 26, 2010 06:15 AM

                  Delicata is supposed to have a thinner, more tender skin than other winter squash. I've only cooked it a few times and not in several years, but that's my recollection of the ones I bought. I wonder if the OP's squash is really a delicata and not some other type. If it IS delicata, it was likely picked too early.

                  1. m
                    milklady Oct 26, 2010 09:16 AM

                    That's really interesting. I have a REALLY hard time cutting through butternet and kabocha squashes when they are raw, but with a sharp heavy knife I have no trouble cutting raw delicata into 1/2 inch circles. Are you sure you have a delicata?

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