Squash and Pumpkin
Summer squash include courgettes and pattypans are harvested when the skin is still tender, and the fruits are relatively small. They do not store are consumed almost immediately and require little or no cooking.
Winter squashsuch as butternuts, acorns, Kaboukas, red kuris and pumpkins are harvested at the end of summer. Can be 'cured ' (dried) to harden their skins and stored in a cool place for up to 6 months. They require longer cooking time than summer squashes and are more versitile.
Squashes and cooking
Though botanically a fruit, squashes are frequently considered a vegetable in cooking.
Squash is frequently used as a part of traditional North American cooking, particularly with the Thanksgiving meal in the United States. Generally squash is baked or steamed and mashed; winter squash and pumpkins are often made into a form of custard for pie filling, and butternut squash in particular is often made into soup.
Peel the squash, halve it, discard the seeds and cubes the flesh. Cook in simmering salted water for 15 – 20 minutes until tender. Serve as a simple vegetable accompaniment of mash with black pepper and butter.
Do not remove the skin, halve the squash and remove the seeds. Place the halves cup side up on a baking tin and brush the flesh with oil olive (you could experiment by adding crushed garlic herbs and spices etc) Bake (gas mark 4 – 180C) for approx 45 minutes. For the last 10 minutes turn the fruit cup side down to prevent it from drying out too much and to brown the skin, which can be eaten like a baked potato.
For added interest try these ideas for the final 10 minutes of baking:
Leave them the right way up and either sprinkle the cut surface with chopped red chilli, garlic, fresh thyme or oregano, and more olive oil; or fill the hollow with chopped fresh sage, finely sliced garlic and a spoonful or so of double cream, then grate parmesan over the top, allowing plenty to mix in with the cream.
Squash may be substituted in Marrow and Pumpkin recipes.