The colors on the trees aren’t the only things changing for autumn. Summer squash are giving way to a wealth of winter vegetables, including a variety of gorgeous gourds. The cornucopia of bumpy, curvy, slender and obtuse cousins of summer squash come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors that are as beautiful as the autumn leaves.
But they’re more than just festive décor to festoon upon your harvest table. These seasonal treats are a delicious addition to winter weeknight meals. With a variety of textures and flavors, this visual guide from Epicurious shows you the culinary side of this pretty produce. Check out these recipes for our five favorite winter squash to see how peanuts and peanut butter can take these gourds from gorgeous to gourmet.
This perennial favorite gets its name from the short, squat shape that’s reminiscent of an acorn. The mildly sweet flesh pairs well with a variety of preparations, as in this savory squash and peanut stew with blackeyed peas, or sweet baked acorn squash with peanut butter and applesauce.
Often available year round, the orange flesh beneath the pale skin of this squash is sweet, soft, and perfect for roasting or pureeing. Try this recipe for roasted peanut butter glazed squash, or add some flavor for the season with this Chai-spiced butternut squash soup with peanuts.
A slender, yellow squash with green veins, delicata has a soft consistency when cooked and a mild earthy flavor. This recipe from Miller Union’s Chef Steven Satterfield enhances the earthiness of this squash with cold-pressed green peanut oil, and a peanut and sesame and squash seed dukkah.
Available in both a green and red variety, this short, stout little squash offers a savory taste for the green, and a more sweet flavor for the red. Both would work well in this spicy Thai kabocha squash and cauliflower dish that uses peanut flour to elevate the flavor.
The stringy flesh of this yellow squash is so similar to spaghetti that it can actually be used as a substitute for long, thin pasta noodles. Eating Well’s recipe for lemongrass-pork and spaghetti squash noodle bowl with peanut sauce swaps the noodles for squash for a low-carb and gluten-free spin on this ramen-like dish.