Friday, November 14, 2014

Sensational Squash

Butternut, acorn, spaghetti, pumpkin--squash is the vegetable of the season. Our produce carts in the food pantry have been laden with all sorts of winter squash, which is good news for the frugally minded. Winter squash, properly cured, will keep through the winter if stored in a cool, dry spot, and the culinary possibilities are endless! Whether you go cinnamon sweet or sage savory, these autumnal gems offer something for everyone.

Those thick skins and hard bodies can seem intimidating until you realize that you can simply stab them in a few places (to vent steam) and stick them in the oven whole, bake until they are fork tender, then cut them in half and scoop out the soft flesh. From there you can make pumpkin pie (butternut can be used instead of pumpkin in any recipe) seasoned spaghetti squash, creamy butternut soup, and many other incredible creations (check out this vegetarian lasagne with butternut béchamel).

This season I have been especially taken with the simplicity and ease of transforming an adorable acorn squash into a comforting side dish, or a festive holiday entré.

We demonstrated and sampled roasted acorn squash in the pantry a few times, and plenty of folks seemed familiar with the basic butter and brown sugar method. At our Healthy Happy Holidays cooking workshop we assembled acorn squash stuffed with a tasty rice pilaf (perfect for the vegetarians at your holiday table). Find the recipe here, and be sure to enjoy these versatile, nutrient-rich beauties, while they are in season.

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