It’s gourd season, and that’s a good thing

Grilled squash is salted and dressed with olive oil, chilies and mint.
Grilled squash is salted and dressed with olive oil, chilies and mint. TNS

Ready or not, it’s the season for squash.

Squash can last a long time, especially if you store them in an unheated garage that hovers above 40 degrees. Keep them out of direct sunlight.

Once you cut into a large squash, it will keep. Wrap it in plastic and store it in the refrigerator, which can preserve it for close to a month.

Kabocha squash, which this recipe calls for, is similar to acorn, banana and butternut squash; those can be substituted.

Grilled squash

Serves 2

1 1/2 cups Kabocha squash, peeled and cut in wedges

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

White wine vinegar

1 Thai bird or Calabrian chili, or one cherry pepper, seeded and chopped

10 mint leaves, cut in a chiffonade

Light the grill and allow it to get hot.

After you have peeled the squash, cut it in 1/2 wedges or half moons. Be sure they’re not too thin so they don’t fall apart on the grill. Then pour a quarter-sized dollop of olive oil in the bottom of a large bowl. Transfer wedges to the bowl and coat them with a light sheen of olive oil.

Grill the squash for somewhere between 3 and 5 minutes, turning once as needed.

When the slices are cooked through, transfer them back to the bowl and salt liberally _ be sure to taste as you go. Add a touch more olive oil and a dash of white wine vinegar. Then add pepper, mint and black pepper, if you like. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Melissa McCart, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette