ASHEVILLE, NC (December 6, 2012)—The local winter squash crop has been harvested and cured. Not salted or smoked like meat, of course, rather held at a controlled temperature after harvest. That simple process helps the squash stand up to storage and last through the upcoming winter months.
All varieties—from acorn to spaghetti—can be enjoyed now, too. And enjoy is exactly what the Glass Onion in Weaverville (an Appalachian Grown™ restaurant) hopes you’ll do with their month-long local butternut squash lunch and dinner specials in celebration of ASAP’s Get Local December focus.
Why feature butternut in particular, 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.”
For the first week of December, she and her husband, co-owner and chef Edward Hannibal, will feature Ivy Creek Family Farm’s (located in Barnardsville) various butternut varieties in raviolis with pecans, sage and cream. During week two, you can order up butternut squash and ginger soup; week three will offer a roasted butternut squash salad with dried cranberries, toasted almonds and local greens; and the Get Local celebration will close with fresh pappardelle with roasted butternut squash, duck confit, cherries and sage. Glass Onion will donate 50% of all special sales to ASAP.
But that’s not all. Also find local spaghetti squash on their menu now, along with local greens, potatoes, onions and root veggies. “Our mission is just that: We try to work with local farmers as best as possible,” Byrnes stresses. “It’s about the relationship between your menu and your farmers.”
Winter squash will also shine at holiday tailgate markets this month. For a list of markets and weekly tailgate reports, visit ASAP’s community website fromhere.org. For a list of growers and more restaurants serving local squash, search ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.
[High-resolution photos available. To connect with farmers, producers and chefs in your community, contact Communications Manager Maggie Cramer at email@example.com.]