While summer squash and winter squash are obviously related but where they part ways is in their maturity and growing times. Summer squash (zucchini, patty pan etc.) is best when its skin is soft and tender, while winter squash is best when its exterior “shell” is rigid and hard.
Summer squash doesn’t keep for more than a couple of days in your fridge whereas winter squash can keep for a long time in a cool, dark place for several months which is why it’s available from fall through spring. But autumn, which seems to have finally arrived, is when they are at their taste and texture peak.
Spaghetti squash are a big favorite at my house for their stringy texture and golden color. As I am still without a kitchen, I am looking forward to making this lasagna stuffed spaghetti squash in the toaster oven (my new bestie).
And, because you eat it straight from the baked shell it makes clean up easier too! Also helps that we have both gorgeous ricotta and mozzarella available at the market every week. Since there is a convergence of winter squash and summer tomatoes looming this year, why not try this baked spaghetti, tomatoes and basil recipe.
For those of you observing Yom Kippur and fasting keep in mind that eggs (especially farm fresh eggs) offer one of the quickest ways to refuel after a long fast because they’re packed with protein and healthy amino acids. There’s also a symbolic reason to break the fast with a strata, frittata, or quiche: Eggs symbolize life and rebirth, two important themes of the High Holidays. Here’s a recipe a mushroom and fontina quiche that can be pulled together super quickly – or made in advance. Needless to say, Valley Shepherd Creamery can offer many alternatives to fontina if need be. Township Valley Organic Mushrooms is now coming on a weekly basis by the way and if you haven’t tried their kale pesto, pick some up this weekend. Perfect for spaghetti. Squash, that is.
See you at the market!
Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ farmer’s market director
author: “American Pie:Slices of Life (and Pie) from America’s Back Roads” (HarperCollins)