What to do with squash

Pumpkin roasted with sage and garlic

As we move further into autumn, we are deep into the ‘thick-skinned' squash season. ‘Thin-skinned' squashes include courgettes and marrows. Thick-skinned squash tend to be brightly coloured, orange or yellow, and bursting with beta-carotene - a small helping gives you nearly half your daily Vitamin A requirement - as well as fibre and Vitamin C. They can be stored in a cool dark place for months if undamaged - their thick skins protecting them from deterioration.

There are many varieties of pumpkin and squash available, and the general rule is, the smaller, the sweeter and more intense the flavour. Pumpkin Tart - originally developed when home-sick British colonists to the US missed their apple pie, is a gorgeous easy pudding to make at this time of year. Pumpkin, like apples, also goes very well with pork. Butternut squash, shaped like a large orange pear, is particularly delicious and perfect for a spicy or creamy Butternut Squash Soup, having a smooth and velvety texture when pureed. It also makes an excellent Vegetarian Stew or Butternut Squash and Pine Nut Risotto - perfect for a last minute supper. Roasting squash really intensifies the flavour - sage and garlic complement the sweetness.

Keep a butternut squash in your fridge, and you will never be short of a long-lasting vegetable for that won't let you down.

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