If you show a child a picture of a pumpkin, chances are they can easily identify the round, orange fruit that is ubiquitous with fall. But show them any other type of winter squash, and they might get a puzzled look on their face. One of my favorite activities to do with preschoolers during this time of year is a winter squash dissection. We cut into several different types of winter squash and discuss their similarities and differences. Are the insides the same color? Do they have “guts,” like a pumpkin? Do the seeds all look the same or different? Do bigger squashes have more seeds? You may need to buy some squash for yourself to find out.
I love going to Morning Glory Farm in the winter and trying out different types of squash. Some of my favorites are cute and sweet honeynut squash, tasty striped delicata, and dense, orange kabocha squash. This month, visit your local farmstand and challenge yourself to prepare a type of squash you’ve never tried before.
Check out this month’s featured recipe, Butternut Squash with Tahini!
Butternut Squash with Tahini
Recipe by Maura Martin and Austin Racine of Mo’s Lunch.
1 large or 2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-in. cubes
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1⁄3 cup tahini
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup chicken or vegetable stock, warm.
Preheat the oven to 425°. Toss squash and garlic cloves on a large sheet tray with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast 20 to 25 minutes, or until soft and browned in spots.
Let cool 5 minutes, and then transfer to food processor along with the tahini; drizzle in a little bit of stock at a time, and pulse until you have a smooth consistency to your liking. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
Alternately, for a thicker and more rustic purée, transfer squash to a bowl, add the tahini and mash with a fork or potato masher until well-combined. Thin out with some stock if needed. Season with salt and pepper.