7 Ways To Eat Well With Squash

Staci Strauss

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winter-squash
 

Squash. We’ve been eating it on all five continents for a very long time. Defining its exact origin is difficult, close to impossible, but food historians are pretty sure squash was eaten in the Americas well over 5,000 years ago. It has been said that the Incas began cultivating them in the fifteenth century. Squash is still an important staple in the diets of much of central and south America. Probably because they taste so good!

Did you know the dividing line between winter and summer squash is really based on usage rather than any kind of  specific plant differences? (I didn’t.) Butternut and acorn are but two examples of winter squash, with thick hard skins, that are harvested when they’re ripe. Cucumbers, zucchini, and crooknecks are examples of summer squash. These are eaten while they are still immature, with edible skins and mild flavor.

Here in mid-October we’re most interested in autumn and winter squash. Epicurious.com has an excellent visual guide to winter varieties. I guess one thing cooks like about these vegetables is there are about as many ways to prepare them as there are types of them.

We have compiled our seven favorite recipes to get the conversation started and the squashes cooking.

There are literally thousands of recipes for these delicious vegetables (they’re actually fruits). We have compiled our seven favorite recipes to get the conversation started and the squashes cooking.

TOP ROW

1. We selected seven of our favorite winter squash–they’re not hard to find and easy to prepare, especially with these great recipes.

2. From thekitchn.com, a mouth-watering recipe for Sara’s Italian Sweet and Savory Squash Bowls using acorn squash.

3. Food52.com offers this recipe for Caramelized Butternut Squash Wedges with a Sage Hazelnut Pesto. This is delicious, simple as that.

4. Better Than Butternut: Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe is the awesome offering from SummerTomato.com. One word: flavor.

5. From BlueApron.com comes Baked Sweet Dumpling Squash with Millet & Caponata. This sweet and sour take on a stuffed squash is rich and flavorful.

BOTTOM ROW

6. LemonDrizzle.com When a recipe calls for bird’s eye chilies, cumin, tumeric and coconut milk we’re in. This Spiced Ambercup Squash Soup with Coconut Milk recipe kills.

7. With a name like Chow.com, it better be good–and it’s better than good. This recipe for Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmigiano-Reggiano will warm you up on a cold fall night.

8. And finally, MuffinTinMania.com offers up this gem. Buttercup Squash Oat Muffins. Imagine these hot from the oven slathered with generous schmears of unsalted butter. Love, not like.

We’re sure you have your own favorite winter squash and how to prepare. Will you share it with us?

Photo credit: Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association