We're all familiar with the typical squash varieties showing up at our farmers markets and grocery stores this time of year. Acorn, butternut, pumpkin, delicata, etc. are each delicious and have their own merits. But we'd like to expand our squash repertoire to include a lesser known but equally deserving variety - the red kuri! The red kuri squash looks like ridge-less and redder-colored pumpkin.
Also known as the orange hokkaido in Japan or the potimarron in France, this squash is most remarkable for it's flavor. The bright orange flesh is sweet and tender with an incredible nutty flavor unique to the red kuri. Both the French and Japanese names for this squash use the word for chestnuts - kuri in Japanese and marron in French - to name it.
When purchased from a trusted farmer or with the organic label, the skin is edible as well, making it an easy squash to prepare at home. Simply open it up, scoop out the seeds and usual bits, and cut into any shape that works! No need to peel!
There are a million ways to eat squash, and your family probably has a favorite recipe, but we love it roasted simply with olive oil and plenty of black pepper, or cooked down and pureed into a delightfully rich tasting soup. When cubed up and roasted, red kuri squash is easily tossed into a warm kale salad with toasted farro and a bit of parmesan, or into a savory morning oatmeal with a poached egg.
However you like to eat it, it's undeniably good for you! Loaded with beta-carotene, fiber, and low in calories, it's also a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C!