Squash is one of the biggest indicators that autumn is upon us. Chef Stacy Cogswell of the Regal Beagle and contestant on Top Chef: Boston, balances Delicata squash flavor with sweetness and tartness in this sformato recipe. Sformato, essentially an Italian soufflé, is a great way to start off a meal and an impressive addition to a dinner party menu.
- 1 large Delicata squash (about 3 pounds)
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup shredded Jack cheese
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and pierce a few holes in the skin with a knife or fork. Place the squash cut side down in a glass baking dish and roast in the oven until soft, 40 to 45 minutes. The timing may vary, so be sure to check on it occasionally. You want a few brown blisters on the skin and to be able to pierce the squash easily with a fork. Set aside and let cool.
- Mix the crème fraîche, Jack cheese, thyme, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh away from the skin and put it in a separate bowl. Add the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and mash until smooth. Add the cheese and crème fraîche mixture and stir to combine. Add the egg and nutmeg, giving the mixture one final stir.
- Grease an 8 by 8-inch baking dish on all sides and pour in the squash mixture. Turn the oven down to 375°F and bake until brown spots start to show on top, 30 to 40 minutes. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving.