Squash Cooking Tips From Bruce Sherman, Chris Pandel And More | Chicago

Chefs Bruce Sherman, Chris Pandel, Andrew Zimmerman and Paul Fehribach help you tackle the season's abundance of squash

Wondering what to do with fall's rainbow of squash? We called the pros, culling tips for cooking three lesser-known varieties that are begging to be liberated from farmers' market tables.

Kabocha: Bruce Sherman of North Pond recommends seasoning halves of this sweet Japanese squash with olive oil, salt and white pepper. Roast it until a knife slides easily through the skin, scrape out the flesh and blend it for a simple purée. To do it North Pond-style, purée the roasted squash with brown butter and pumpkin pie spices, and serve beneath roast lamb.

From the TT archives: Kabocha Squash Hummus

Spaghetti and kabocha squash at the Logan Square farmers' market

Spaghetti: Once roasted, the flesh of this pale yellow squash pulls apart in vermicelli-like ribbons. At home, The Bristol's Chris Pandel makes savory spaghetti squash pancakes for his kids by adding roasted spaghetti squash to whole wheat batter, pan frying the disks to golden brown, and serving them latke-style.

From the TT archives: Pork Chops with Spaghetti Squash 

Delicata: This green-striped yellow squash is tender enough to be cooked and eaten with the skin on, says Sepia chef Andrew Zimmerman. At the restaurant, he sautés delicata crescents, finishing them in the oven before tossing them with garlic confit and pickled cherry bomb peppers. We've been devouring delicata at home, roasting slivers with olive oil, salt and pepper (on parchment paper, at 425°) and eating them like French fries. 

From the TT archives: Duck Breast with Delicata Squash

Delicata squash at the Logan Square farmers' market

Pro tip from chef Paul Fehribach of Big Jones: Don't discard the seeds and strands of pulp from the center of your squash: Simmer these flavorful innards with water and a bouquet garni (of your choice of herbs) for an hour and then strain it through a fine mesh strainer. Use the liquid to add an extra jolt of flavor to squash soups or purées.