Oh my gourd!

Carmen Marshall from Peter’s Pumpkins
Carmen Marshall from Peter’s Pumpkins and Carmen’s Corn poses with a Blue Hubbard squash at the Fulton Farmers Market. Submitted photo

Winter squash season is upon us! With so many choices, colors, flavors and uses, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do with this versatile and nutritious crop. Our farmers, food makers and volunteers share their favorite tips.

Mary Falk from LoveTree Farmstead Cheese says she prefers kabocha, butternut and acorn squash. “I split them open (halved and de-seeded), rub with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt and roast at 350 degrees until done (time is dependent on size),” she said. “Just a couple of minutes before I take them out of the oven, I crumble one of our soft goat cheeses over the top … a little goes a long way!”

Elizabeth Conlin, a longtime Fulton volunteer, likes a variety called butterscotch from Walsh Ridge Farm. She recently made a tortilla soup with black beans, butterscotch squash and zucchini. She also likes to add roasted pieces of the squash into pasta dishes with olive/avocado oil and fresh grated parmesan.

Tamara Johnson from Johnson Family Pastures said last year she discovered the red kuri squash. “I fell in love with its sweet, smooth, orange flesh,” she said. “I’d often put some pureed red kuri squash into a Thai red coconut curry to sweeten the sauce and sneak some more vegetables into my kiddos. I also liked stuffing it with apples, shallots and pork sausage and serving big wedges of it. You can eat them skin and all!”

Fulton volunteer Megan Schall likes to stick kabocha squash in the oven and cook it like a baked potato.

Meg Cowden, a former Neighborhood Roots board member, makes squash tortillas and a chickpea chana masala.

Jean Davidson from Davidson’s Farm will roast and puree her squash before freezing it to save for a delicious winter soup.

Margo Hanson-Pierre from Clover Bee Farm cubes, cooks and spices her squash to serve in tacos.

Lee Watkins, a longtime volunteer at the Kingfield market, recommends cutting delicata squash into half moons and roasting it — skin on — with a little olive oil. “Easy and delicious,” she said. “It’s even good on pizza.”

Adrienne Logsdon from Kiss My Cabbage said she once had good results lacto-fermenting delicata squash. “It changed the smell and flavor so much,” she said. “Kind of peaty, like Scotch whisky.”


Squashes

Handling squash

Storage: Winter squash should be stored at room temperature. On the kitchen counter is fine.

Cutting open a gigantic squash: The easiest way is to take it outside and drop it on the ground. It will split just enough to get a knife through. Smaller squash can be put in the microwave for 10–30 seconds.

Freezing: You can freeze cooked, pureed squash for use later in soups, baked goods, ravioli filling, lasagna, macaroni and cheese and more.