Winter Squash

Cook squash to take full advantage of this delicious vegetable, and don't forget to save the seeds for roasting.


Red Kuri Squash
Enlarge Image Red Kuri Squash

The red-orange skin of this squash houses a finely textured flesh reminiscent of sweet potatoes. Red Kuri is delicious baked or steamed; its flesh is also a great candidate for puréeing into a soup. Just scrape the cooked flesh into a blender, and add seasonings and a liquid such as chicken broth, water, or cream. Hit the button marked "blend."

Acorn squash
Enlarge Image Acorn squash

Acorn squash shows up in gold, green, and white. This wide-ribbed varietal has a tender, fine-textured flesh with a nutty, peppery taste. Serve this small, versatile squash quartered and baked, mashed, or puréed. Or, create an edible bowl by halving it crosswise and baking, then filling it with cooked rice or stuffing.

Green buttercup squash
Enlarge Image Green buttercup squash

Green buttercup squash is a good squash for stress relief: a knife should be lightly pounded into its thick skin to aid slicing. The rewards for this effort are great, though. Its deep-yellow flesh eats like a sweet potato and holds up well through long cooking, so consider it for braising, roasting, and stewing.

Turban squash
Enlarge Image Turban squash

Turban squash has color variations from bright orange to green or white. Its oversized cap can be sliced off, hollowed, and used for serving soup. The seed cavity is small, which leaves room for plenty of sweet, hazelnut-flavored flesh to bake into tarts, pies, and breads

To cook winter squash, follow these guidelines:

  • Always scrape out the seed cavity before cooking.
  • Pierce the skin with a knife.
  • Whenever possible, cook squash, quartered or halved, in its skin. This makes it easier to peel or scrape the flesh out of the shell.
  • Steaming, baking, or braising are the most effective ways to get the biggest flavor out of squash; avoid boiling.
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