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Ingredient

Acorn Squash

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What is it?

Acorn squash is a hard-shelled winter sqaush shaped like its namesake nut. It may have white-gold, warm orange, or dark green skin, but all have the same golden flesh inside. A great choice for baking, the flesh cooks up dry and sweet, with a definable but pleasant texture.

Kitchen math:

1 squash yields 2 substantial side-dish servings

Don’t have it?

Substitute delicata squash, which are similarly sized and shaped.

How to choose:

Choose squash that feel heavy for their size; those that don’t feel heavy probably have been sitting around for a while and have lost moisture. Although acorn squash is grown year-round, peak season is October through March, when it has been cold-weather harvested and stored in the cold to develop its sugars.

How to prep:

Acorn squash is so delicious that it doesn’t need much fussing with, which is a good thing, because that ridged surface is a real drag to peel. So keep it simple: trim the tip and the root end just enough so the squash can stand upright. Cut it in half and remove any seeds and extra fibers with a sturdy spoon. Rub the flesh with butter, season with salt and pepper or a sprinkling of brown sugar or maple syrup, and bake, cut side up, until tender. You can also cut the squash into rings and bake or roast those.

How to store:

This hard-skinned squash will keep for weeks in a cool, dark, well ventilated area.

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