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Winter Squash

We’re growing 18 varieties of squash in 2015, it can get a little confusing with all these options. Here’s a breakdown on what types we grow, ideas for preparation, and some other useful info.

  •  Acorn

Varieties: Jet, Tuffy, Honeybear (single serving).

Honeybear

Honeybear

These squash are delightful roasted with butter and maple syrup and a bit of lime juice in the cavity left by the seeds. They also are great stuffed, especially the single-serving Honeybear. A moist-fleshed squash, better for roasting than soups.  Look for an orange spot on the bottom of the squash to signal that the fruit has ripened completely and all the sugars have developed.

  • Buttercup (Red or Green)

Varieties: Burgess, Ambermax (Red)

Burgess stock

Our number one seller in Central and Northern Maine – this is the real deal. A great dry squash packed with flavor. It’s hard to improve on roasting this squash at around 400 degrees (cut side down), scooping it out when flesh is soft, mashing it up with butter, salt and pepper.

  • Butternut

Varieties: Waltham, Atlas, Butterscotch

Butternut stock

The old stand-by, Butternut is great in all applications. Try steaming it until tender, adding stock, cream, ginger and chili powder then blending until smooth for a great soup. Atlas is a large squash, perfect for restaurants and food service settings – though we also cave them for Halloween! Butterscotch is a single-serving squash, perfect for 1 or 2 people.

  • Delicata

delicata stock

Delicata is an heirloom variety of squash that was popular in the early 1900s, but lost out to squashes with harder skins that were easier to ship. This makes them perfect for local production and Lakeside is committed to keeping the variety available in Maine. Their soft skins make Delicata easy to cut, and the skins are edible. This is one of our real favorites at the farm, very easy to cut, easy to handle and delicious. We like it best split, cut into slices, tossed with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and pan fried until the slices are browned and a bit crisp. Eat squash and skin!

  • Blue Hubbard

imagesred hubbard stock

We grow both the traditional Blue Hubbard (a very large squash, usually between 10-12#) and Baby Blue and Baby Red varieties that are more moderately sized. All 3 have very dry flesh, making them extra smooth when roasted and pureed. Little known fact: about 95% of “Canned Pumpkin” and “Pumpkin Pie Filling” is actually Blue Hubbard squash, amazing flavor and texture. 

  • Kabocha

Varieties: Cha Cha, Sunshine, Kabocha, Bon Bon

kabocha stock sunshine stock

A favorite of cooking magazines, these are very similar in flavor to Buttercups. They blend into soup well but also hold their shape when cubed and roasted in the oven with other meats or vegetables. Ususally around 4-5 lbs each. Sometimes called “Candy Squash” for the sweet flesh.

  • Long Island Cheese

Long Island Cheese (photo from Johnnys Seeds)

This old time squash variety is flat and lightly ribbed, and looks a bit like a wheel of cheese. Tan skin. Pale orange, great for a pie, also great roasted and stuffed. 6-10#. The squash has history on Long Island and is recently becoming known in Maine, where we have also seen it called Cinderella squash, perhaps because it looks like it would make a good carriage for a fairy tale! This is a fairly most squash with a true squash taste to its flesh. It’s good pureed with butter and seasonings as a side dish. We ate it recently carved out, stuffed with chunks of bread, cheese and pieces of cooked bacon, then roasted for about 30 minutes until the flavors melded together and the squash was tender. Hard to bear.

  • Pie Pumpkins

Varieties: Cinnamon Girl, New England Pie

pie stock

Both varieties are the perfect size for pureeing into pie or pumpkin bread. Great flavor and high sugars – don’t try to make a pie with a Jack o’ Lantern!!

  • Spaghetti Squash

Varieties: Spaghetti, Pinnacle (Personal sized, 3#)

spaghetti stock

This squash is always a bit of a surprise when it turns into spaghetti. We roast it first as above and then fork out the strands treat it just like spaghetti, with tomato sauce and cheese. It’s also good with just olive oil, garlic, and parmesan sprinkled on. We suggest trying it early in the season while good local tomatoes are still available, make a quick sauce and pour it over the squash before baking – delicious.

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