Dinner or Decoration? That’s what I wonder when I see the multi-colored lumpy, bumpy squashes at the farmer’s market or in stores.
When I was little, my grandmother would pick out the most awkward shaped gourds, squashes and pumpkins to display throughout the holiday season. Why, those weren’t for eating at all!
When it came to dinner time, we gobbled down acorn squash topped with brown sugar and butter, or spaghetti squash soaked with marinara.
So, this week I was excited to have a friend at the pool tell me about her love of a deep orange, almost red squash she picked up at the farmer’s market. Hmmm. I needed to try that! Later that day, I stopped at our local meat and produce shop, and guess what was sitting on the table staring back at me? A big, round almost-red squash. I grabbed it!
After a little research, I discovered it’s a Japanese squash called the Red Kuri. It’s available from early fall through mid-winter and is loaded with vitamins A and C.
It can be cooked much like potatoes (roasted, baked, in gratins and casseroles) and the tender skin is edible after cooking.
I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds and massaged the inner flesh with a little bit of olive oil — per a friend’s recommendation. I then placed it cut-side down in a 9×13 baking dish and let it cook at 350F for an hour.
It was tender and creamy. The flavor is mild and delicious with just a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.
So, move over acorn squash. I think I have a new, equally delicious, fall squash to add to my autumn menus.
Have you ever eaten the Red Kuri? How do you like to prepare it? Tell me in the comments below.
Until next time,