Eating seasonally is good on so many levels: it is better for the environment, it is easier on your wallet, and it ensures your food is at its freshest and most flavorful. This time of year, it’s time to focus on the heartier species that flourish in the cold weather. Rutabagas, carrots, turnips, and potatoes are all great options for seasonal recipes. Last month I provided some recipes that feature pumpkin – this month, it’s all about the squashes. Whether you’re making a simple soup or a decadent cheese and squash soufflé, these dishes are hearty, flavorful, and a great way to experiment with seasonal eating.

 

Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons

The traditional French recipe calls for a baking pumpkin. Unfortunately, the pumpkins we have in the United States have been bred more for appearance than flavor. So instead, we substitute in butternut and acorn squashes to mimic the taste and texture. Enjoy either as a first course, or pair it with a salad to make it a meal. As for the wine, Epicurious recommends pairing this with lightly chilled rosé.

Cheese and Squash Soufflés

This recipe calls for dumpling squash, which actually cuts your prep time – the skin of this squash is edible when cooked, so don’t worry about peeling! Just chop, roast, and puree as the recipe instructs. Serve it as the main course, or smaller versions as a side. Pair it with a non-traditional white wine blend for the perfect match!

Quinoa-Stuffed Squash

Don’t let a late night at work prevent you from fixing a healthy meal. A lot of the prep work on this recipe can be done ahead of time, including cooking the squash and preparing the filling. If you’re adhering to a meat-free diet, either remove the sausage entirely, or substitute in tempeh. Pair it with a medium bodied pinot noir.

Butternut Squash Mac n’Cheese

This vegan recipe is hearty, healthy, and perfect for chilly winter evenings. In this recipe, the butternut squash is pureed into the sauce, adding an earthy flavor and thickening the sauce. If you’re baking it in the oven, be sure to add breadcrumbs! For a wine pairing, avoid anything too tannic, and go for a slightly acidic Chianti.

 

As you see, winter squash can be incredibly versatile. Whether you’re making a casserole, a soup, or even a soufflé, squash is a great addition. Now, pick your recipe, sip your wine, and enjoy!

Image Credit: Sriram Bala