Vegetable of The Moment: Winter Squash

Controversial opinion: winter squash is one of the most exciting vegetables of the year. I like the smell of cutting one open - sweet, earthy, and an almost neon orange that’s bright enough to remind you of the sun even when the sky is blowing snow.

I like that they take their time to ripen until they’re thick and fleshy and melt into sweet little morsels when they’re cooked - perfect for sopping up aromatics or sauces but flavorful enough on their own, too.

Missy Robbins has a recipe for curry-roasted acorn squash that makes my knees weak every time: halved acorn squash filled with butter, thyme leaves, and curry powder, cooked until it falls apart.

Ilana likes to roast hers, too – whole or sliced - and tossed with anything from chopped kale to persimmons and seaweed.

It’s the very beginning of winter squash season, so here’s three super simple recipes to get you started (and inspired!) The best part of all these recipes? You can make a squash broth with all the scraps, innards, and seeds. Look out for that recipe very, very soon!

By the way, here’s a quick breakdown of some different squashes available right now:

  • Delicata: a delicate-fleshed small squash with edible skin. Best sliced and then roasted.

  • Kabocha: Japanese squash with edible skin, starchy and flesh. Great roasted, steamed, or boiled - especially in soup!

  • Red Kuri: similar to kabocha but red-skinned & a little less starchy

  • Butternut: very sweet and delicate, skin is inedible. Best roasted whole or in halves and then scooped out of the skin. Good for soups and purees!

  • Pumpkin: good for pie (duh) but also soups, stews, and purees. Skin is inedible.


Slice squash (one with edible skin like acorn, kabocha, or red kuri) into 1/2 inch pieces. Toss with 1 tsp salt and add to a roasting pan with hard herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage and one head of garlic cut in half. Add about 1/2 cup oil and roast at 300 F for 45 minutes or so, until soft. Season with more salt & pepper and serve hot!

roasted squash with herbs


Slice squash (delicata is great for this), toss with olive oil and salt, and roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until soft and browned. Leave plenty of space between the slices so as not to overcrowd the pan and steam the squash. Remove from oven and let cool. Toss with thinly sliced kale, cooked rice, quinoa, or wheat berries, pomegranate seeds, and your favorite lemony dressing.



Cut large squash in half, cover in a generous pour of olive oil and finish with salt. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes until there are dark spots and the flesh is fork tender. Slice up to use in salads or soups, or reheat with additional seasonings for a quick meal alongside a hearty grain and green vegetable.