Winter squashes are uniquely beautiful with ribbed or bumpy skins, irregular shapes, and vibrant colors ranging from yellow to orange to dark green or even multi-toned. Sometimes displayed as seasonal table decorations, they are best appreciated when featured as a star ingredient in a wide range of recipes.
Compared to their summertime cousins, winter squashes have a denser texture and flavor with firm flesh that holds up well in hearty soups, stews, casseroles, breads, and desserts. For the quickest enjoyment, the flesh may be scooped and eaten straight from its shell after cooking. Their seeds are also edible and nutritious.