Winter Squash Guide

Winter Squash Guide

Once upon a time,  there were only three kinds of winter squash in my life: pumpkin, acorn squash, and butternut squash.  My family grew acorn squash, and I remember eating them roasted with salt, pepper and butter, which is probably the most perfect way to eat an acorn squash.  I also have fond memories of one of our dogs when I was growing up hunting the acorn squash – she was convinced that they were a threat to our safety and would regularly bark at them.  Butternut squash came a little later in my repertoire of winter squash, right around the time I started finding pumpkin pie pumpkins in the grocery store.  I think it’s safe to say that these three squash were my go-to squash for a long time.  I added Kabocha squash when I lived in the Marshall Islands, as these green squash were sold as local pumpkin in the market and made a great addition to curry.

Then I moved to Roseburg, Oregon and joined a CSA.  Suddenly, each week in the early fall brought a new winter squash and brought me scrambling to figure out what to do with them all.  One squash led to another and then I was buying many winter squash from the farmer’s market and the u-pick farm and stashing them in the coldest room in the house so I could eat them all winter long.

Now that we live in the Portland area, we set aside a Sunday morning to make a trip out to Sauvie Island, which is a popular spot in Portland to find farm stands.  Bella Organic Farms on Sauvie sells a multitude of winter squash, and I had to contain myself as there’s just only so much squash I can eat in a season.  So here’s a tour of the squash I bought at Bella Organic Farms and links to recipes for each.  You’ll definitely be seeing some of my own recipe creations for these squash throughout the fall and winter.

spaghetti-squash

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a great food for a low carb or carb free diet, as its stringy insides make a good substitute for pasta.  You can roast spaghetti squash whole and then cut it open, de-seed and pull out the stringy insides.

Favorite recipes
Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Garlic Spaghetti Squash with Herbs

Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Spaghetti Squash with Kale and Chickpeas

red-kuri-squash

Kuri Squash

Kuri squash is a lovely orange squash with an intensely orange interior.  It’s great as a pumpkin substitute for pies, as well as blends smoothly as a base for soups.

Favorite Recipes

Roasted Red Kuri Coconut Curry Soup

Roasted Kuri Squash Soup with Smokey Harissa and Chickpeas

Red Kuri Pumpkin Pie with Chocolate

black-futsu-squash

Black Futsu Squash

Black futsu squash is one I haven’t cooked with before.  I saw it at Bella Organic Farm and thought it looked interesting.  So here are two recipes to check out if you find one of these beauties:

Black Futsu Squash in Sweet Coconut Cream

Roasted Black Futsu Squash with Hazelnut Sage Pesto

galeux-desysines

Galeux d’Eysines Squash

The Galeux d’Eysines squash is another squash that I haven’t cooked before.  I also couldn’t find many recipes that feature this winter squash, so I’m sure I’ll be posting a recipe or two of my own before too long.  In the meantime, here’s a soup recipe that uses this unusual squash.

French Pumpkin Soup

buttercup-squash

Buttercup Squash

The Buttercup squash is another pretty squash that has a unique appearance. It’s also very versatile for cooking.

Favorite Recipes

Simple Roasted Buttercup Squash

Buttercup Sage Mac and Cheese with Bourbon

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Wraps with Chimichurri Sauce

honey-nut-squash

Honey Nut Squash

These adorable squash are a smaller, sweeter variation on a butternut squash.  I actually found these at Trader Joe’s and thought they were just so cute!  You can use these in any recipe that calls for butternut squash.  Here are a few ideas:

Roast Honey Nut Squash with Rosemary and Gruyere

Twice Baked Honey Nut Squash

Butternut Squash Pancakes

delicata-squash

Delicata Squash

I saved the best for last.  Delicata squash have a super nutty flavor and they roast like a dream.  Even better yet, you can eat the entire squash – skin and all.  I love eating thinly sliced and roasted delicata squash rings on a salad, especially with a few toasted hazelnuts and some pomegranate seeds.

Favorite Recipes

Midwinter Delicata Squash and Greens Salad

Smoky Delicata Squash and Black Beans Baked Quesadilla

Delicata Frittata

 

winter-squash-dog-photobomb trio-of-squash

This first photo is all the squash together…and a dog’s nose.  Daisy is keeping up the fine tradition of dogs in my family who are suspicious of winter squash. The second photo is a trio of squash – possibly my three favorite:(from left top clockwise) kuri, buttercup and galeux d’eysines.

pumpkin-field  pumpkin-in-the-field

These last two are just some pretty pictures of pumpkins in the pumpkin patch at Bella Organic Farms.

I hope you enjoy the bounty of winter squash that are available this time of year.  I’d love to hear about your favorite recipes for winter squash and your experiences cooking with different types of winter squash, so please comment below!

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