The change of seasons will herald a surge of squash varieties. Some will be available at the Hitching Lot Farmers' Market in Columbus, open three days weekly through the end of September, and on Saturdays through October. Read on for a recipe for Italian spaghetti squash stuffed with crumbled Italian sausage and cheese pictured. Photo by: delish.com/Ethan Calabrese
September 13, 2017 10:56:59 AM
As summer gives way to autumn, don't assume we have to say goodbye to fresh produce. Garden goodness can last well into fall and early winter with proper care, says the Mississippi State Extension Service. The Hitching Lot Farmers' Market in Columbus, for example, is still open three days a week through September (Mondays 4-6 p.m., Thursdays and Saturdays 7-10 a.m.) and will continue on Saturdays through the month of October. One harvest shoppers are likely to seek out there is squash.
Squash generally falls into two classifications, summer squash and winter squash. Don't be fooled: summer squash types can be on the market in winter, and winter types are on the market in late summer and fall.
Squash come in an array shapes and colors and are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. There are numerous varieties, but today we'll touch on three -- spaghetti squash, acorn squash and butternut squash.
Spaghetti squash -- also called vegetable spaghetti, vegetable marrow, or noodle squash -- gets its name because, when cooked, the flesh separates in strands, resembling spaghetti pasta. This squash is small and watermelon-shaped. It has a golden-yellow, oval rind and a mild, nut-like flavor, says whatscookingamerica.com. Look for the "yellowest," it's likely to be the best to eat. In general, larger spaghetti squash are more flavorful than small ones. This squash can be stored at room temperature for about a month. Check out the Italian spaghetti squash recipe in today's pages.
Acorn squash is small and round shaped like an acorn. This good baking squash has a sweet, slightly fibrous flesh. Acorn squash can be dark green, golden and multi-colored. Read on for a simple recipe for a delicious side of acorn squash with creamy ricotta and fragrant sage.
Ah, butternut squash. The deep-orange flesh of this popular variety has a sweet, nutty flavor, somewhat similar to sweet potatoes. The oranger the color, the riper and sweeter the squash, says whatscookingamerica.net. Butternut squash is so versatile, but today's recipe for it is a very simple one: butternut squash "fries." While these won't be crispy like potato fries, they're a low-carb, low-cal way to introduce new vegetables and flavors to fussy eaters at your table, and an easy way to get acquainted with the butternut.
Baked, roasted, steamed, sauteed; soups, curries, casseroles, sides -- there are so many ways to make squash varieties part of your fall-into-winter menus. It's a great time to explore a few.
ITALIAN SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
2 large spaghetti squash, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella
(Source: delish.com, Lindsay Funston)
ACORN SQUASH WITH RICOTTA AND SAGE
Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Makes 4 servings
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
2 bay leaves
2 acorn squash
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup ricotta
BUTTERNUT SQUASH FRIES
1 butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to garnish
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.