A few hints for picking out winter squash for your holiday table. Plus, staff favorite recipes utilizing these wonderful winter vegetables (right).

  • Choose squash that feel heavy for their size.
  • Look for unblemished skins—a few nicks or areas encrusted with soil are fine, but moldy or moist spots are not.
  • If the squash has a stem attached, see that it, too, is free of mold.
  • If you'll be roasting mini pumpkins or rings of acorn squash with the intention of eating the skin, look for organic varieties or wash the squash well before cooking.
  • For purées and soups, you can simplify the peeling process by first baking the squash in the oven until tender. The smooth varieties can be peeled; for ridged or nubbly types, simply scoop the flesh from the skin with a spoon.
  • Butternut, buttercup, kabocha and acorn squash are great varieties to start out with if you're unfamiliar with squash.

Great Recipes:

Butternut-Squash Couscous
Credit: © Melanie Acevedo
Argula-Endive Salad with Honeyed Pine Nuts
Credit: © Quentin Bacon
Squash Varieties & Recipes