squash: a how to

(source*)

Squash can be an over-whelming vegetable. It is hard to chop, hard to peel and then you have to figure out how you are going to eat it! I received a request for a post on squash last week so I thought I’d put together a few tips that I’ve learned over the years. Please add in your own squash tips, I’m not an expert. :)

There are a few tricks that apply to most of the varieties:

  • microwaving the squash for a few minutes will soften it up if you are having trouble cutting through it
  • when I cut squash in half to roast, I always scoop out the seeds, drizzle with a little water, season with salt & pepper, and cook cut-side down on a pan
  • roasting time will vary, but the flesh should be soft when it is ready to eat

Acorn: 

  • cut in half, scoop out the seeds and roast until flesh is soft
  • scoop out squash and top with a pat of butter, salt and pepper
  • recipe to try: acorn squash with sage brown butter

 

Butternut: 

  • can be peeled with a peeler or knife – I usually cut in half where the base starts rounding, then peel, then cut into pieces to roast
  • a great squash to puree and add to soups or use in salads
  • recipe to try: classic butternut squash soup (with variation ideas)

 

Kabocha:

  • a newer squash to the US, kabocha squash comes from Japan
  • like butternut, it is great squash to puree or add to soups
  • cut in half, scoop out seeds and roast
  • recipe to try: roasted kabocha squash

Spaghetti: 

  • cut in half length-wise, roast, scoop out seeds and then scrape the sides to form spaghetti-like strands
  • serve like you would spaghetti with sauce, meatballs, etc. or saute with a touch of butter, garlic, italian herbs and with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese
  • recipe to try: spaghetti squash casserole with ricotta and spinach

 

Delicata:

  • this is a relatively new squash to me but it is a great one because you can eat the peel and it is very easy to cut
  • cut in half length-wise, scoop out seeds, slice and bake
  • recipe to try: roasted delicata squash with rosemary

*All pictures from Real Simple

 

Comments

  1. Emily says

    From what I’ve found it looks like you can eat all winter squash seeds – something I never do! Thanks for bringing it up, I’ll save and roast them next time!

  2. says

    Good how to! Another tip- if you are pureeing it (or don’t care if it maintains it’s shape), it’s much easier to roast the butternut squash before peeling, and then you can scoop the flesh right out. Those suckers are hard to peel!

  3. mary beth says

    this is great! i always cook cut side up. so much good info here and so easy to digest. love it.

  4. says

    Ok, so how did the microwave to soften it up tip get past me? Great idea. I’ve got 3 waiting to be cooked up throughout the rest of the winter.

  5. says

    I LOVE delicata squash! It’s less watery than other kinds of squash – almost has a sweet potato texture and flavor. Roasting it with diced apples and a little maple syrup in the middle of each squash half is divine! Thanks for the useful post.

  6. says

    I’m a big fan of squash! I have found the kabocha harder to find. There are lots of healthy recipes for it though. Don’t forget about butternut squash fries (basically roasted butternut squash with seasoning) and butternut squash bread. Those are two of my favorites!

  7. says

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