With the Halloween celebrations officially kicking off, and Thanksgiving looming over the horizon, local farms are doing their best to rid themselves of their remaining inventory, namely squash. They’re beautiful to look at- when decorating the doorstep with a colorful display of nature’s bounty, it makes you feel all warm and harvest-ey inside, right? But don’t forget- they are really healthy, yummy food, too! Take advantage of the clearance prices being offered, and stock up on some strange looking produce and discover the wealth of flavors to be enjoyed!
A favorite for replacing spaghetti when trying to eat low-carb, just cut in half (longways), scoop out the seeds, and roast. When done, scrape out the “threads”, and dress with butter or your favorite sauce. Go for the larger specimens, as they have the most flavor and thicker “threads”. Skin is not edible.
My favorite choice when aiming for presentation- just halve, scoop out seeds, and roast. They can be filled (like a bowl) with all types of creative ingredients, and really pack a “wow” punch when dressed on the plate. Skin is edible.
I’m pretty sure everyone has a family recipe involving this creamy favorite! Extremely versatile in ease of preparation as well as pairing with other flavors, look for a thick neck to get the most sweet flesh. Skin is not edible.
Generally found locally in a bluish-gray color, can also be orange like a pumpkin, but lacks the cheery pumpkin shape. Anywhere up to 20 pounds, it’s extremely flavorful, but somewhat mealy in texture. Best used pureed in soups or pies. Skin is not edible.
For some reason, this one always seems to surprise me. Typically a pound or two, each week towards the end of our summer CSA, we get a few that eventually accumulate in my fridge. My favorite is roasting, as it’s so easy, and these also look great when stuffed and served as bowls (ala the Acorn squash) Out to dinner last week, the restaurant had sliced them and grilled them, drizzled with a little bit of maple syrup- pretty awesome! Skin is edible.
And last, but not least, the little pumpkin! Look for the smaller, sweeter baking varieties as opposed to the carving ones. Roast as you would any other variety, and keep the baked flesh in a jar in the fridge. You can use them in a pie, or scoop some in a smoothie. Recently, a good friend and inspiring kitchen talent, @themamadredre, recommended combining some with alfredo sauce, olive oil, cinnamon, paprika and sea salt, used liberally over ravioli- are you drooling yet? Skin is not edible.
So hopefully you’ll go this weekend and see what’s left of the harvest- stock up, keep them in the garage where it’s cool, and they’ll last through the new year! And please share your favorite recipes!