What to do with Winter squash

How can we not love squash?! Fascinating for their variety, diverse shape and extraordinary versatility squashes are another representative of the fruit and veg world to delight our taste buds and inspire creativity in the kitchen.

A fruit called veg

Although squashes are a kind of fruit according to its botanical classification, they are generally considered a vegetable in food preparation. Don’t let that stop you from trying them in sweet recipes though – see below!  The squash family is big and it has summer and winter offsprings. The word “squash” comes from the Massachuset Tribes word askutasquash, meaning “a green thing eaten raw”, which applies to most summer squash varieties like courgettes, cucumbers, marrows and patty pans. Winter squashes though have both tougher flesh and skin and need cooking.

Know your squash

  • They are high in vitamins A and C, iron and betacarotene (supports good vision and immune system)
  • When selecting, look for squash that is heavy for their size, sounds hollow when knocked and has a hard, deep coloured, blemish-free skin.
  • Despite their name, winter squash is a warm-weather crop, but get their name because they can be stored through the winter.
  • All winter squash skin is edible, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to eat it. Some squash (red onion or red kuri) has thin skin that’s tasty and tender, while others (crown prince) have a tough shell that, even cooked, offers a stringy, chewy bite we would rather avoid. It can be easier to peel after cooking sometimes – try roasting it in large segments and then peel off the skin when cooked. 
  • Neither winter nor summer squash is suitable for freezing, because of the high water content

Cooking your squash

Squashes can be roasted, sautéed, toasted, mashed, braised, simmered, souped, curried… We can eat them in savoury dishes or delicious puddings, muffins, pies and quiches. An endless abundance of tastes and choice!

Squash loves

Chilli, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cumin, paprika, sage, rosemary, soy sauce, onion, roasted garlic, apples, celery, grains (quinoa, barley, rice), roast chicken, grilled pork