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Thursday, September 29, 2011
Getting To Know Your Squash
Get to know your squash
Unique in their own individual shape and brimming with wonderful fall colors, winter squash is flavorful addition to so many dishes.
Generally, winter squash can be substituted in recipes calling for pumpkin or sweet potato. You can easily use any of these squash in soups, stews, pilafs or pies — satisfying dishes that make winter warm.
What's your favorite way to eat squash? If you haven't tried squash yet, which one do you think you'll give a try? Some people just like to use them with fall decor. What are your ideas?
I think I'll give the delicata a try. I've never eaten it before and trying some of the recipes gives me some ideas for the preparation.
Acorn — Try its sweet, nutty, peppery flavor oven-roasted with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, fresh herbs or filled with a wild rice stuffing.
Butternut — This gently sweet squash is a pleasure pureed in soups, roasted with various spices as a side dish, or roasted and added to salads for a flavor boost.
Delicata — This squash tastes like a combination of corn, butternut squash and sweet potato. Try it in this succotash.
Hubbard — This grainier, less sweet squash is tasty boiled, baked or mashed with butter and seasonings, or pureed into soups.
Kabocha — The rich, sweet flavor of this squash tastes divine tempered with soy sauce, ginger and other seasonings from Asia as with this recipe.
Spaghetti — When cooked, this squash, with a mild, nutlike flavor, separates into strands similar to its namesake noodles, creating a high-fiber, low-carbohydrate alternative to pasta. Try this recipe or just add butter, olive oil or pasta sauce and you have an easy side dish or main course.
Sugar Pie Pumpkin — Much smaller in size than your typical carving pumpkin, this squash is sweeter and perfect for pies and other sweet treats. I grew some in my garden this year and can't wait to cook them into some pies and muffins.
Turban — But you don't want to wear this quirky squash. It has orange-yellow flesh and tastes slightly like hazelnuts when baked or steamed. Its hollowed-out rind can double as a soup tureen. I have fun serving food in the hollowed out shell. People think I'm such a gourmet cook!(sly grin) Or, keep it whole for an easy harvesttime centerpiece.