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Sep 9, 2008 01:05 PM

Please help me identify this squash!

Please help me identify this gigantic squash that my husband's boss (an obviously impressive gardener) gave us! What do I do with it???

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  1. That looks like a large summer squash to me. I like to halve it and slice it, then saute with white onions and maybe some thyme.

    1. It may be a banana squash. Is the skin hard, can you pierce it with your fingernail? If it is soft, most likely it is a summer squash as noted in another post. But if it is hard, it most likely is considered a "winter squash". I found some great pictures to compare it with at Most winter squash do well baked in the oven. Cut it in halve, scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place cut-side down on a lightly-oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 until soft. Flip it over, dot with butter and salt and pepper. You can also drizzle it with some molasses or sprinkle with some brown sugar and cinnamon. Or scoop out the pulp and make some soup.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mamapajama

        Mm, that sounds great - thanks for your post! It is kinda hard on the outside, like a pumpkin. Do you think it's a winter squash? If so, when you bake it, do you just scoop out the middle to eat?

        1. re: coolbean98

          I'm not sure...a summer squash that large MIGHT be fairly hard just because its skin is correspondingly thick - but not pumpkin-hard. is the website for grower/author/artist Amy Goldman. One of her books is The Compleat Squash, which has recipes and photos of countless varieties. I don't have a copy and yes, that IS how it's spelled. There's an e-mail link on her site for contacting her and if you get a reply you can be sure it's gospel truth.

          And yes, when you bake a winter squash you scoop it out, or let people eat it out of the skin - cut finished squash into a large chunk per person, or serve an entire half in the case of smaller squashes like acorn, a particularly attractive presentation because of the scalloped edges and colorful skin. A lovely acorn squash entree is to bake (or microwave cut side down) halves until perhaps 2/3 done. While they cook, sautee crumbled Italian sausage, onion, celery, diced apple. When done, mix in cubed stale bread cubes or stuffing mix, stir in enough chicken stock to moisten as though you were making stuffing for poultry, season to taste.
          Swish some butter in the squash cavities, pile in the stuffing, dot with butter, and bake at 375-400 until there's a nice brown-gold crust.

      2. Looks like a crookneck squash to me.

        1. It looks like a winter squash to me and if the skin is really hard, not just tough, I would treat it that way.
          My way would be to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and the connective tissue. (If there are no separate seeds and connections then I guessed wrong... it is a summer squash... cut it up and do what you will with it, or scoop it out, stuff it and bake.)
          But if the seeds are separate you now have them scooped out and there is a cavity.
          You can fill this with cinnamon, butter, sugar and bake. Or, brush with oil, sprinkle it with white pepper and lay slices of Canadian bacon all over and bake. Or, turn it upside down on a baking sheet (parchment paper first) and bake until done. Remove from oven, scoop the cooked squash into a bowl and mix with butter, and whatever you might think would work. Think sweet potatoes.

          1. Looks like a banana squash to me. If so, the skin isn't edible, which should differentiate it from a summer squash. The summer squash's skin would cook up soft and edible, the banana squash's won't. Cut it in half and roast it, or peel and cube it to use any number of ways, but be careful if you peel! Winter squash are notoriously difficult to peel safely.

            1 Reply
            1. re: amyzan

              I microwave winter squash for just a few minutes - not enough to cook the flesh, but enough to soften the skin a bit, so that after it cools a little it's not as hard to peel.