Winter squash, to be clear, is harvested in the winter, not planted in the winter. I have found that some people find this confusing. So now you know. The best known varieties are Butternut, Acorn, Turban, and Banana. They are characterized by their hard skins as compared to summer squash like zucchini which have soft skins. You can store them in a cool place (about 55 deg) for most of the winter without problem. Unlike summer squash which will rot in a flash when you cannot bear to eat another zucchini dish.
Not only can you eat the meat of the squash, but also the seeds and the blossoms.
The easiest way to cook winter squash is to bake it in a 350 deg oven until soft. Put a little salt and butter on it and eat it up. But there are other ways too.
We love to eat butternut squash soup in the winter. It’s the perfect meal with a salad and a loaf of good bread. Here’s one of my favorite recipes for soup. It’s so simple even my husband can make it. And he has trouble boiling water.
Another great use for Squash: You can save the seeds from winter squash and dry them and roast them to eat.
Here’s a simple recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds, which works for all winter squash:
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
1. Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings. (This is easiest just after you’ve removed the seeds from the pumpkin, before the pulp has dried.)
2. Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat. If you prefer, omit the oil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325 degrees F until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes.
4. Let cool and store in an air-tight container
You can also season them with sweet or savory spices like cinnamon or garlic salt. (Although not these two together, please.)
Last but certainly not least you use squash blossoms raw or cooked. Deep fried, in pizza, baked or in salads. Amaze and delight your friends by serving them something they’ve never seen before.
Here is a link to five fantastic recipes for using squash blossoms.
Give them a try.
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