We are up to our ears in winter squash! I decked out our front porch this year with some really fun varieties, in part so we could make some delicious meals with these beauties. There are so many fun varieties to cook with and luckily many of them will keep for weeks, or even months.
Growing winter squash takes up some prime real estate on our 1/10 of an acre urban plot. Although I have my tried-and-true favorites, I like to experiment every fall with trying new varieties from local farms. Here are a few that have earned a place on our homestead and certainly deserve a place on the Thanksgiving table.
Blue Hubbard – This massive winter squash has a hard outer shell, making it an excellent storage squash, and a subtle blue-green coloration. Inside is sweet, golden flesh that lends itself well to either baking or cooking. There is also a Baby Blue variety that weights an average six pounds – a more manageable size for a family meal. But if you’re thinking Thanksgiving feast, go for the bigger variety to feed a crowd.
Delicata – We simply cannot grow enough of this favorite winter squash. The nutty flavor is delicious simply prepared and the skin is thin enough to eat, unlike many winter squashes with tougher skins. They are the perfect size for an individual serving. I often just cut them in half, scrape the seeds out, throw in a dab of butter, salt and pepper, then roast at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Or you can make it a meal by stuffing with goodies like kale and sausage. Nom!
Kuri – These teardrop shaped squashes come in blue and red varieties. They are typically about five pounds with thick skin and dry, sweet flesh. Because they are dry, this squash works best cooked into soup, substituted for sweet potatoes or made into curries. This is a great keeper squash that becomes sweeter when stored in a cool, dry place.
Sweet Dumpling – You have likely seen this dainty little winter squash. It is one of the sweetest winter squashes with yellow flesh inside. The small size makes it a great single-serving squash.
Rouge Vif D-Etampes – Move over sugar pumpkin. This french beauty is a show stopper to look at and, in my humble opinion, one of the best “pumpkin” flavored winter squashes out there. Also called the “Cinderella” pumpkin, this squash makes excellent pies and baked goods. One of my favorite ways to prepare it is to stuff it with everything fabulous you can imagine, roast it in the oven, and invite a gaggle of friends over to scoop out the delicious interior for dinner.
Have you discovered some new favorite winter squashes this season? I’m always looking for new varieties to grow and would love to hear which ones have won you over. Tell me about it in the comments below!