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Add easy roast squash rings to fall feast

It’s the first year that I’m solely responsible — without assistance from Mom or Grandma — for the Thanksgiving feast.

But it’s the umpteenth year we’ll have the same menu, established since my childhood, to complement the turkey. Stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potato praline and green bean casseroles, 24-hour fruit salad and pumpkin and pecan pies. Yawn.

I’m sneaking in roasted Brussels sprouts as a concession to vegetables that aren’t canned or combined with copious amounts of sugar and butter. But perish the thought that Americans’ penultimate harvest celebration could include any quintessential fall produce, such as winter squash. The animosity of my family’s few has managed to override any larger acceptance of a recipe that could render squash palatable.

If I could take a stab at it, though, I’d stake moderate success on a toothsome appetizer with spicy dipping sauce. This roasted delicata squash has been in my recipe files, courtesy of Tribune News Service, for more than a year awaiting a likely occasion. Because delicata, as its name implies, has a thin, delicate skin, it doesn't need to be peeled before eating. Creamy and sweet, it gets even sweeter when roasted.

The ease of preparation justifies adding this dish to the table — even if I’m the only one enjoying it.

Tribune News Service photo

Roasted Delicata Squash Rings With Chipotle Sauce

2 medium delicata squash, scrubbed clean

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Black pepper, to taste

3/4 teaspoon chile powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

2 teaspoons adobo sauce from can of chipotles in adobo

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

Squeeze of fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Trim ends form each of the squash; cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon; cut squash into half moons about 1/2 inch thick and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle the oil on top.

In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, chile powder and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle spice mixture over squash slices, then toss to make sure squash is evenly coated.

Roast in preheated oven, tossing around squash on baking sheet about half way through until squash is tender and lightly browned, for about 20 to 25 minutes.

While squash is roasting, make sauce: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, chives, adobo sauce, garlic and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer roasted squash to a platter and serve with chipotle sauce.

Makes 4 servings.