Steamed Delicata Rings with Tomato-Onion-Cilantro Dressing

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Deep yellow rings are topped with tomato and red onion dice seasoned with cumin, vinegar, and honey and freshened with cilantro leaves. If cilantro’s roots are attached, cook them: Cut them off, scrub with a brush, and mince; then sauté with the onion for a substantial flavor boost. Handy for a buffet, this dish is tasty warm or at room temperature.


  • 2 Delicata or Sugar Loaf squash (about 1 pound each)
  • About ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup cilantro (coriander) leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of ground hot pepper
  • pinch of ground cloves or allspice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 2 medium plum tomatoes, chopped small


    1. With vegetable peeler, zip skin from squash, leaving what remains naturally in the indentations. Cut off ends. With zucchini corer, remove seeds and pith. Or twist a knife in the center corkscrew-fashion to cut the seeds free, then clean thoroughly with melon ball cutter or teaspoon. Cut crosswise into ½-inch slices.
    2. Set rings on rack of large steamer over boiling water. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to serving dish.
    3. Meanwhile, chop cilantro. Warm 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over moderate heat. Add onion (and cilantro roots) and cook to soften slightly. Add cumin, hot pepper, and cloves; toss briefly. Reduce heat, add vinegar, honey, and tomatoes, and toss until juicy—a few minutes at most.
    4. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining tablespoon of oil and half the cilantro. Adjust seasoning. Spoon over the squash. Top with remaining cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.