Maple & Spice Delicata Squash with Basil Ice Cream


Basil Ice CreamMake at least one day ahead before serving with squash.

(I did get a few hints from one of the Lindley brother’s at Alleia for this one, but had to work out the details on my own.  I like the original best, but this one will do for home-made)

  • 4 cups (packed) basil leaves.
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cups of half and half
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 3 quarts of cream
  • seeds from one vanilla bean pod

In a large sauce pan, boil 2-3 cups of water.  Add the basil leaves and cook until tender and dark green.  Remove from heat and let cool.   In a small saucepan heat the half and half with the sugar, salt and the star anise, stirring occasionally, on low heat until it just starts to boil around the edges.  Remove from heat and cool to at least room temperature.  Remove the star anise pods from the half and half and combine drained, cooked basil leaves and half and half in a blender.  Puree until mixture turns green and has very few leaf specks remaining.   Combine the basil mixture with the cream and vanilla bean in an ice cream maker and freeze as directed.

Maple & Spice Delicata SquashThere are many ways in which you can serve the squash and ice cream.  The squash is softer if left in large pieces while roasting, and like chewy candy if sliced thinly for roasting.  It’s delicious however you choose to cut it up.  For this recipe, I cut the ends big enough to use as ‘bowls’ for the squash, and sliced the rest very thinly, then diced the cooked pieces and sprinkled it on the ice cream as a candied garnish.

Scrub the skins of two small delicata squash with a vegetable brush to remove any soil or spots.   Cut in half and scoop out the seeds.  Do not remove the skins.  On this winter squash, they are edible and nutritious.    Slice or dice the squash to desired thickness and place in a glass baking dish.

Blend the following ingredients together and pour over the squash:

  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup of real maple syrup
  • a hefty dash of cinnamon
  • a dash of cloves
  • 1/2 to 3/4 of a whole nutmeg, grated
  • a dash of sea salt

Bake at 375 degrees for about 1/2 hr to 45 minutes, depending on how thickly the pieces are sliced.

Serve slightly warm with ice cream.

From Chyela Rowe

Heather Cross