From the same family as cucumber and courgette, winter squash is harvested in autumn, once they’ve matured and developed hard skins. And they’re one of our favourite things about this time of year; they bring a lovely splash of colour to the store.
We currently have the bright orange queen squash, the deep green and amber kabocha squash and the steely-blue crown prince available, along with the familiar butternut squash. Each one offers a different taste experience and, if you haven’t tried some of the more unusual varieties before, the queen squash is a good place to start. It’s a little sweet and quite similar to the butternut squash.
For us, it’s the crown prince that really piques our appetite. With an almost eerie blue-grey tint to its protective skin, it looks like no other vegetable we know. And our love for this squash only deepens when we slice into it to reveal a surprisingly bright orange flesh. The contrast between the two colours is simply stunning.
We find the crown prince pleasing on the palate too. In fact, it’s highly prized for its dense, sweet, yet nutty flavour. And, although they are quite large, this squash stores well, giving you plenty of time to think of ways you’d like to use it.
No matter which variety you choose, squash is particularly good in soup. We peel and chop the flesh before simmering in some good stock, then blitz it down with a little blue cheese for the perfect autumnal lunch. Squash risotto is another popular and easy dish, just add pre-roasted chunks along with crumbly goats’ cheese as you’re ladling in the last of the stock.
We also like to serve squash as a side. It’s great roasted in a little rapeseed oil with garlic and fresh thyme. Try leaving the skin on as it will tenderise in the oven leaving it perfectly edible. Not only will this save you the job of peeling squash, it adds texture and helps keep its shape.
Currently we’re enjoying squash in a shin of beef casserole. Because we don’t want to risk losing it in the richness of the casserole, we roast the flesh first, then add to the dish for the last few minutes of cooking. It’s a great one-pot meal and you can find the recipe here.
Our selection is always seasonal and forever changing. Why not pop into our store to find out more about eating seasonally? We’re open from 8am to 8pm every day.