>> These jazzy-looking winter squash sport mottled and striped rinds of green and gold. Use when you want a showy alternative to acorn or butternut squash. Exteriors should be firm. Store in a dry, cool, well-ventilated spot.

>> To bake whole, prick with a fork and cook at 350 degrees for about an hour, until tender when pierced. Halve; remove seeds and fibers. Add the sweet, mild pulp to soups or stews, pancake or muffin batters, and pasta sauces.

>> Roast unpeeled wedges until tender; drizzle with balsamic glaze and toasted nuts.

>> Stuff cooked squash (tops and seeds removed) with a mixture of cooked rice, sautéed onion, nuts or beans, and herbs; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

—Elisa Bosley

Tropical Salsa: This festive, flavorful salsa tastes great atop this dish. Find the recipe at www.deliciouslivingmag.com.

Coconut Scallops with Carnival Squash
Serves 4

1 pound bay scallops
1 cup light coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 medium carnival or acorn squash
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 cups baby spinach
Toasted shredded coconut, for garnish
Fresh mint and cilantro leaves, for garnish

1. Rinse scallops and pat dry. Combine scallops with coconut milk and sea salt; toss lightly to combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 375°. Halve each squash lengthwise; remove seeds. Arrange squash halves, cut sides up, in a baking dish with about 1/2 inch water. Cover tightly with foil and bake until tender, 45–60 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl, combine honey and lime juice. Transfer scallops one at a time to the honey and lime mixture; toss. (Discard coconut milk.) Heat a large skillet over medium-high; coat lightly with cooking spray. Add baby spinach and sauté for 1 minute. Add scallop mixture and sauté until scallops are fully cooked, 3–4 minutes. Divide scallop mixture into squash halves. Garnish with toasted coconut, mint, and cilantro.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 261 calories
% fat calories: 16
Fat: 5g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 37mg
Protein: 22g
Carbohydrate: 36g
Fiber: 4g
Sodium: 354mg