Awash in squash: If you’re batty for butternut and awed with acorn, December is your month

Jarrahdale or Hubbarad:

Image 1. Go big or go home: Stock up on big squashes like hubbards and jarrahdales during Get Local winter squash month. Both have hard skin and store well, through the winter months and likely beyond.

Image 2. Batty for Butternut: Butternut is extremely versatile, which is why Glass Onion is creating four local butternut squash specials this month with proceeds benefiting ASAP. On the menu this week: A roasted butternut squash salad with local greens, cranberries, and toasted almonds.

Looking for to bake a small squash with butter for two? Appoint acorn! Want to replace pasta dishes with a veggie this season? Select spaghetti squash! Need lots of squash to last through the winter? Hoard hubbards! Find these types and more at holiday farmers markets and when indoor winter tailgate markets open come January.

If you’re especially batty for butternut, get over to Appalachian Grown partner eatery Glass Onion in Weaverville before Jan. 1. In celebration of ASAP’s Get Local winter squash focus, they’re whipping up squash specials featuring Ivy Creek Family Farm’s butternut squash, and donating a percentage of special sales to ASAP.

Why is butternut co-owner/manager Natalie Byrnes’ favorite type of winter squash? “With butternut you can be versatile, roasting it for salads or boiling it for soups,” she says, adding, “We wanted to highlight and prepare it in different ways to show how many uses it really does have.”

This week, find a roasted butternut squash salad with dried cranberries, toasted almonds and local greens on the menu. Between Christmas and New Year’s, they’ll serve up fresh pappardelle (a large fettuccini) with roasted butternut squash, duck confit, cherries and sage.

Why local? “Our mission is just that: We try to work with local farmers as best as possible,” Byrnes says. “It’s about the relationship between your menu and your farmers.”

“I met Natalie and her husband, Edward Hannibal (co-owner/chef), at our booth at the Weaverville Tailgate Market,” says Paul Littman, who owns and operates Ivy Creek Family Farm in Barnardsville with his family. “As a new restaurant, they sought out local farmers and local food for their menu, and they’re already making a strong impact in the community because of this.”

Littman’s excited to have developed a great relationship with the restaurant and that his squash is being put in the spotlight this month. He knows firsthand just how many uses butternut has. Find one of his favorite recipes for butternut pie, yes pie, below — which he shares he eats not only for dessert but even to get a veggie in for breakfast. And, visit Glass Onion to benefit ASAP for lunch Wednesday-Monday or dinner Wednesday through Sunday. Also try their butternut squash soup recipe below for a little restaurant style at home.

Find the restaurant online at glassonionasheville.com. For a list of holiday and winter markets, visit ASAP’s community website and market calendar at fromhere.org. For a list of growers and more restaurants serving local squash, search ASAP’s online
Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.

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