2016-11-03 / From The Garden


Posh Winter Squash
By Cynthia Gibson

Queensland Blue, also known as an "Australian Blue" squash, was imported into the United States in 1932 from Sydney Australia. Queensland Blue, also known as an "Australian Blue" squash, was imported into the United States in 1932 from Sydney Australia. From Stop & Shop to Walker’s roadside vegetable and fruit stand in Little Compton, there are buckets of new and heirloom squashes in the marketplace. Some of the best and more exotic varieties of winter squash are at Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown and other roadside stands. Why? Because they do not grow for the huge commercial marketplace and can plant more varied types of seed and smaller amounts of larger varieties!

These amazing squashes come with pedigrees and fancy names in tow. The turban squash must be one of the most beautiful squashes that exist. They look just like a pasha’s turban; they are bejeweled with spots and warts instead of pearls.

The turban squash, or Turk’s cap squash, is whimsical and beautiful, rather that remarkably tasty. It has its place in a fall centerpiece, but it does have a special recipe that perks up its not-so-flavorsome reputation.

Galeux d'Eysines Galeux d'Eysines The turbans feature three to six different striking colors on each squash: white, deep orange, yellow, two shades of green (at least) and brown warty lumps. Other very odd-colored winter squashes include the blue varieties. Queensland Blue, Blue Hubbard and Guatemalan Blue Banana are three of the most spectacular. These squashes are eerie looking; their flavor, however, is superb. Their deathly pale blue thick skin, when cut, reveals the most beautiful orange flesh that is great for pies and any type of squash dish you might want to prepare.

The Galeux d'Eysines wins the prize for the ugliest, but the most delicious. How could a squash so strange looking be so coveted? Leave it to the French to bite into a piece of this squash and name it the finest tasting of all. This is not small; it grows to be up to 10 pounds. It has a sweet flesh that is great for making cakes, pies and puddings.

Winter squashes all have one thing in common: thick skin, which needs to be cut with a very sharp large knife to get to its succulent center. The thick skin is made for cold storage. These squashes should be brought in this week and stored for the winter. You can start cooking with them now, but they will last in cold storage up to four or five months. Keep them in your basement or in a refrigerator. You can also cut them into pieces and freeze them in freezer bags, but the taste will not be as sweet or fresh.

The most common of all winter squashes is the acorn squash. It is hard not to like them. They look like tops made from brightly colored vegetables. Always best, baked with butter, brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Cynthia Gibson is a gardener, food writer and painter. She gardens and tends her miniature orchard in Newport.

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