Get cozy and comfortable with these three autumn squash recipes.

Winter squash—orange, green, striped, gray, red—represents the colors and flavor of fall.

Though actually a fruit, squash promises endless variations of soups, stews and curries as well as cakes, breads, scones and pies. Survey the whimsical sizes and shapes with alluring names—Aladdin’s Turban, pie pumpkin, delicata, honeynut. Try the winter kabocha, whose flaky texture makes a fine mash; the Koginut’s firm flesh is well-suited to stir-fries; and that sweet dumpling, with a lush, velvety texture, makes a lovely soup or pie. More old-timey varieties of squash are coming to market each year as growers discover heritage varieties that grow so well here.

Once the squash is harvested, it is “cured”—just set it aside in a cool, dry place so the skins harden. This ensures it will last through winter; the longer squash is in storage, the tougher the shell becomes, and it’s said they sweeten with age (just like us). Store cut-up squash unwrapped in the refrigerator. Avoid using plastic bags, as plastic traps moisture and makes the squash slimy, shortening its life significantly. Better to refrigerate the cut pieces uncovered on the shelf. When you go to use it, slice and discard any discolored sections.

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