A tall winter squash with a figure eight shape, a yellowish-tan skin, bright orange flesh, and flavor like a sweet potato. Can be 8 to 12 inches long and weigh 2 to 3 pounds. Used in breads, stews, soups, muffins, and puddings.

Butternut Squash

Season: available year-round

How to select: Choose a squash that feels heavy for its size, with blemish-free skin, and no soft, moldy spots.

How to store: Store in a cool, dark place.

How to prepare: bake, steam, simmer, puree

Matches well with: ancho chiles, apples, butter, celery root, Cheddar cheese, cinnamon, curry, nuts, oranges, Parmesan cheese, pears, pecans, rosemary, sage, sherry

Turned into a side dish as a thick puree, or cooked sliced in half, or as a thin puree, made into a soup, the butternut squash has a wide variety of cooking methods and uses. Its mellow flavor pairs well with sweets (honey, brown sugar or maple syrup) and spices to provide a diverse lexicon of culinary options.

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