All About Winter Squash

Blue Hubbard. Cinderella. Long Island Cheese. These large seasonal pumpkins are a staple of Fall decor but did you know they also taste delicious?

Many of these decorative gourds may appear intimidating but, rest assured, they can be broken down for roasting. Here is a primer on the unusual varieties of winter squash and how to prepare them:

Sugar Pumpkins are a classic choice for making pies and look great on the holiday table. For a puree, simply roast the flesh and blend until smooth and freeze any excess for later.

Red Kuri, or Hokkaido, is a small Japanese squash with thin skin making it an excellent option for roasting. Simply chop your Red Kuri into small chunks, toss in olive oil, top with salt and pepper and in the oven it goes. 

Kabocha, also a Japanese variety, is a sweet green pumpkin with yellow flesh. Savor it’s sweetness by roasting and tossing into a salad or simply serving it mashed with your favorite toppings.

The Long Island Cheese pumpkin does not taste like cheese but is shaped similar to a cheese wheel. This peachy colored pumpkin is mild in flavor and is traditionally grown for pies but tastes just as delicious in soups and stews.

Turban squash is unique in appearance with a striped orange and green exterior and is shaped like a hat. This is a variety that will last for awhile, just be sure to bring it inside before our favorite furry friends make a snack of it. Try roasting the whole squash until tender and stuffing with a sausage filling.

One of the largest varieties of pumpkin is the Cinderella Pumpkin, also known as Rouge Vif d’Etampes. Reminiscent of Cinderella’s carriage the bright-red squash stores well can be frozen for later when making a dish that does not require the shear amount of flesh that this pumpkin offers.

Covered with lumpy brown protrusions that resemble peanut shells, the Peanut Pumpkin, or Galeaux d’Eysines, has a sweet flavor. An excellent choice for pies or other baked goods, the flesh of this giant squash will satisfy a sweet tooth and serve as a delicious finale to any Fall feast.

Blue or Red Hubbards can certainly be challenging to cut through but are worth it. With a neutral flavor, this large squash works well in both sweet and savory dishes. 

Grab a sharp knife and mallet for those extra large varieties and be sure to save the seeds to bake and snack on later! Visit the produce department of your local Brothers Marketplace to find these and more Winter Squash options.

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