squash: a how to

01.17.12

(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

 

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