Thursday, September 15, 2011

Delicata squash

This is the first year my husband and I have planted delicata squash. Last year we bought a couple regionally grown squashes from the grocery store and really liked them. They reminded me so much of sweet potatoes which are one of my favorite autumn foods. So this spring, we planted two mounds at the back edge of the garden with about three plants (from seed) in each mound. Thankfully, the plants spread and flourished all through the hot summer. Now that some of the older leaves are dying back we have just begun to harvest them. (I believe M. said he counted about forty squash out there!) Two nights ago we ate one that he stuffed and grilled, so good. Today I picked these three, along with zinnias and gomphrena. (I'm still all about the gomphrena.)

Anyway, the little research I've done on harvesting and storing delicata squash suggest a few things: 
  1. Use a serrated knife to remove the squash from the plant. Leave part of the stem attached to the squash, it is supposed to store longer that way. The stems do snap off easily so if this happens as it did on one I picked, eat that squash first. 
  2. To cure or not to cure: I have read different views on this. What's your take on it? Are the squashes sweeter tasting if kept at room temperature a few days after picking? 
  3. For the long term, store the squash in a cool dry place, around 50 degrees. 

Have you grown delicata squash before? What have you learned?


  1. I'm curious how long they will store for?

  2. I haven't grown these yet, but I've been reading a lot about curing and storing because I grew candy roaster squash for the first time this year. Luckily I only have about 6 because they are behemoths! Since you have so many, it would be fun to do a taste test with cured versus non-cured. I thought the curing was more to harden the skin.
    I have read that delicata store less long than most other winter squash--I guess they are "delicate." If they start to go you could freeze puree, soup, or even slices. I am intrigued by pickled winter squash. And yum, they look fantastic!

  3. Misti- I'm not exactly sure how long they will store, but I'm guessing for a number of weeks. I'll have to find out!

    ValHalla- That's a great idea about freezing the puree, thank you!