Fall in Love with Squash

The options for unique squash eating are endless.
By: Kelsey Vala

I recently went home to Nebraska to visit my parents' pumpkin patch, a fall festival open only during the month of October. While I love the abundance of festive jack-o'-lantern pumpkins, I also have another reason I love going to the pumpkin patch: winter squash. This year I took interest in the different varieties of squash my dad grows on the farm for some post-Halloween eating.

Some of my favorites include Acorn's yellow-hued cousin called Cream of the Crop, which has a mellow, delicious flavor. I also enjoy the Southern favorite Cushaw Green Striped Squash, which has a slightly sweet flesh great for pies and good seeds for roasting. Delicata Squash is very sweet and a great addition to soups or for baking. The warty, deep green Marina di Chioggia squash is an Italian variety, so it makes sense to use it in pasta and ravioli. The options for unique squash eating are endless; try Blue Hubbard, Buttercup, Flat White Boer, and Banana Pink Jumbo varieties. I've only begun to try out some of these, and I'm excited for my squash eating adventures to continue.

Five favorite squash recipes:

Get the Recipe: Roasted Squash and Beef Carpaccio Salad (pictured above)

We all love butternut squash so here's an inventive way to eat it.  This quick-seared beef carpaccio is rubbed in rosemary, then topped with spiced roasted squash and greens for an elegant appetizer.

Pair succulent pork belly with the deep green Kabocha squash.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasting Acorn squash brings out its slightly nutty, sweet flavor.  Brush this roasted squash with a brown sugar-amaretto glaze and crumble cookies on top.

This velvety soup made with dense, orange butternut squash, gets an oomph of texture and flavor from wild rice, fresh corn kernels and smoky kielbasa.

Rachael Ray's Spicy Roasted Tomato Marinara with Spaghetti Squash for One For All as seen on Food Network's Rachael Ray's Week in a Day

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Spaghetti squash has stringy, noodle-like flesh that serves as a "boat" for spicy marinara sauce.

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