Thursday, 31 October 2013

Squashes

Squashes, genius Cucurbita, comprise of the various forms of squash and pumpkin and are classed as 'winter squashes', and are picked at maturity, once the skins have hardened.

Courgettes, marrows and cucumbers also come under this genius, but are classed as 'summer squashes', as they are picked at the immature stage, whilst the skins are soft.

Squashes come in many forms such as :

Butternut Squash- they have a sweet and nutty taste, with a light tan colour skin and golden orange flesh.  They can be cooked in a variety of ways such as grilling, baking, roasting, used in stir-fry's, stews, curries and soups.

Kabocha  or Buttercup Pumpkin - they have a chestnut taste, with a dark green skin with light green stripes running from the base of the stem to the base of the pumpkin and a golden orange flesh.  The flesh has quite a dry texture so is ideal for roasting or using to thicken soups, the skin is edible so can be left on for cooking.

Onion Squash - they have a earthy, nutty flavour with a dark orange skin and have the shape of an onion.  They are best roasted. (see photo).

Acorn Squash - they have a sweet taste, with a dark green skin, which is ribbed, and a firm, lemon yellow to light orange flesh.  They are ideal stuffed with spicy rice or cous-cous.

Gems - they are smaller and round with a dark green skin and pale coloured flesh.  They can be roasted with butter and salt and pepper or Parmesan cheese and olive oil.

Baby Bear Pumpkin  - they are small and sweet tasting, ideal for roasting and using as 'pumpkin bowls' to serve your pumpkin stew or soup in. (see photo).

Spaghetti Squash - they are cylindrical in shape, with a pale yellow skin and pale white flesh, which shreds into long strands when cooked, which resembles spaghetti and can be eaten hot or cold.

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