When mountains of squashes are stacked at every market, their rainbow of rusty oranges and deep forest greens mirroring the colours of the trees, you know that Fall has truly begun. Do you need some inspiration for this seasonal specialty? Why not pick up a squash and roast it, make a soup, risotto, or casserole?
Wondering which Squash to Pick?
Each of the squash varietals has their own personality. Frequently, they are interchangeable but still have their own strengths. Butternut is the most pricy and popular, I like using it for soups because its texture is so creamy and its flavour is very clean. Kabocha is new to the North American market, although it has been a popular Asian varietal for some time. It has an earthier taste and a fluffy texture which I enjoy roasted with herbs and spices. Acorn is easily recognizable for its ridged shape, and is a perfect vessel for stuffing with grains, vegetables, and spices. Spaghetti squash is named for the long strands its flesh separates into when cooked. It is generally not interchangeable for other squashes in recipes.
At it’s most simple you can chop a squash into a few pieces, scope out the seeds and rub with olive oil and spices. Roast it in a hot oven, and cut the pieces into similar sizes so they cook evenly. A simple and healthy way to enjoy a good winter squash.
Squash works very well both in pureed or chunky soups. Make double and stick in it your freezer for wholesome meals on a rushed night.
Squash cooks into risotto beautifully, especially when paired with butter-fried sage or blue cheese. Leftover roasted squash can also be stirred into risotto as a great way of transforming leftovers.
Casseroles are always a great way to make entertaining easier and they don’t have to come with a heavy calorie count. Here are just a few great squash recipes where the squash is cooked, and then combined with cheese, spices or other flavours and then baked again.