By Florence-Léa Siry from Chic Frigo Sans Fric
Autumn’s return brings an annual bounty of squash and pumpkins in all shapes, sizes and colours. Some have yellowish flesh, others pinky-orange, while the texture can be firm or stringy… but all are tasty any way you cook them. Did you know that there are over 100 varieties of squash and pumpkin? They’re a whole culinary universe to explore! So let’s have some fun cooking our favourite pumpkins and squash without wasting one little bit.
Different varieties of squash and pumpkin abound in the fall. They’re an economical choice at harvest time, so dare to try something different! Simply ask your merchant about the subtleties of each variety and tips for cooking them.
Always choose squash that are firm, whole, blemish-free and, ideally, still have their stalks. The stalk helps to seal the flesh and prevent it from drying out, so they keep longer!
Squash can be stored for a few weeks, if not all winter, at room temperature. Just be sure they’re properly stored in a place where the temperature ranges from 10º C to 15º C. Handle them with care, since the slightest scratch can invite mould. Don’t stack them too tightly so air can circulate freely.
And the longer you can preserve your squash and pumpkins, the better they’ll taste!
Whether you boil, grill or sauté squash, herbs and spices are all you need to bring out their sweet taste and silky texture. But roasting squash in the oven gives you the best results. Place the squash whole, or cut it in half, with the seeds removed, in an oven preheated between 350º F and 400º F. The heat will help soften the skin, which can then be easily removed with a paring knife or left on to eat is as is.
Raw squash is excellent, especially in marinated salads such as a cabbage salad.
Before tossing out
Add leftover squash or pumpkin purée to “MAC & CHEESE.” Simply thin it with a little milk, cream, beer or white wine to taste and pour over the macaroni. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Brown… then enjoy this unique, tasty twist on a classic!