Like many varieties of winter squash, red kuri squash (also known as Japanese squash, orange hokkaido, or uchiki kuri squash) offers a promise of nourishing dinners. With its bright orange skin, and small teardrop shape, you'll easily recognize kuri; inside, the firm flesh has a creamy chestnut-like flavor. Baked, braised, steamed, or pureed, this squash tastes wonderful; serve it as a side dish or use it as a base for soups. For this simple gratin, you don't need to peel the squash. Roast, steam, or boil it with potatoes, then puree them, and stir in grated zucchini. Add ricotta, parsley, and a flavorful cheese (blue works well), or a milder one (Fontina, which melts nicely). After half an hour, you have a delicious side dish that will make you rejoice over fall's harvest.
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