With a peak season from September to December, Debora goes gaga for gourds at the end of the year for a few reasons:
THEY'RE A COOK'S DREAM
"Squash are so versatile," Deborah says. Don't stop at side dishes. Turn them into a main course or even dessert.
THEY'RE SO DARNED GOOD FOR YOU
Winter squash are high in fiber (1 cooked cup has 6 grams) and low in fat. Their orange flesh signals they're full of immune-boosting beta carotene and other antioxidants.
"I've never met a squash I didn't like -- their curves, their colors, even their warts when they have them. To me, they're fall's most intriguing produce," Deborah says.
(From top to bottom)
This common squash has abundant flesh, few seeds and a rich, creamy texture when cooked. "It's ideal for almost any dish," Deborah says.
DELICATA (Top right, striped)
"Although delicatas are in season now, their sweet flesh and skin is actually more akin to summer squash," Deborah says. They're easy to prep -- no peeling necessary!
This pumpkin-like squash can be tricky to slice when raw. Deborah's trick: "Roast it whole, then scoop the flesh from the skin."
SPAGHETTI (Bottom left, yellow)
The noodle-like strands that form when you scrape the cooked flesh with a fork give this squash its name. They're moist, light and nutty in flavor.