Originally published in The Journal on October 31, 2017.
Beautiful orange, blue and speckled green squash of all shapes and sizes are everywhere this time of year—and they’re not just for decorating! Varieties like butternut, acorn, delicata, spaghetti and kabocha are bountiful at the Mill City Farmers Market, which moves inside the Mill City Museum on select Saturdays November through April.
Contrary to most recipes, there is no need to peel winter squash, especially organically grown thin-skinned varieties like delicata, butternut and acorn. Squash skin is completely edible and adds color, texture, nutrients and fiber to your dishes. Before cooking, thoroughly wash the outside of the squash to remove any dirt. To prepare, cut the squash in halve, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Keep in mind squash seeds can be saved and roasted for snacking just like pumpkin seeds. If desired or cooking a squash with tough skin, peel the squash after it has been partially or completely cooked. Winter squash has a nutty and sweet flavor, and it is commonly used in hearty winter soups, sautéed or roasted like in the Squash Gratin recipe below— a perfect elegant Thanksgiving side dish.
You can find locally and organically grown winter squash at the Mill City Farmers Market’s Thanksgiving Harvest Markets November 11th and 18th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. inside the Mill City Museum (704 S. 2nd Street Minneapolis).