Carnival squash is a variety of winter squash with mottled orange, white and dark green skin. Sometimes labeled as a variety of acorn squash, this hearty gourd is best in the late summer and early fall. The flesh is yellow and creamy when cooked, with a flavor similar to butternut squash or sweet potatoes. Roasting the squash caramelizes the flesh and produces rich, complex flavors that complement autumn and winter dishes nicely. When buying carnival squash, look for specimens with tough, hard skin. Carnival squash can be stored, uncooked, in a cool, dark place for up to one month. After roasting it, store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Things You'll Need
- Carnival squash
- Olive oil or butter
- Salt and pepper
- Dried spices (optional)
- Brown sugar, honey or maple syrup (optional)
- Baking sheet
Wash the exterior of the squash under cold, running water. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the stringy fibers and seeds.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the cut side of the squash with olive oil or melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. You can also sprinkle the squash with dried spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, or curry powder. To give the squash a sweet kick, coat the cut side with a bit of brown sugar, honey or maple syrup.
Place the squash cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the gourd.
Scoop out the flesh from the squash, or serve the entire half, cut-side up. No matter how you choose to serve it, do not eat the skin.
Tips & Warnings
- If you have trouble cutting the squash in half, pierce the skin in a few places with a knife, then microwave for 3 minutes. You should be able to cut it with ease once it's been microwaved briefly.
- Photo Credit John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images