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

 

15 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 8:06 am

    This is a great squash 101! Do you know if all the seeds are safe to roast and eat?

    Reply

    • Emily
      Jan 17, 2012 @ 9:28 am

      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!

      Reply

  2. Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    A lovely tribute to a lovely winter staple. You have inspired me to use the butternut squash sitting on my counter for dinner tonight!

    Reply

  3. Megan (Braise The Roof)
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

    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!

    Reply

    • Emily
      Jan 17, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

      Good one. Thank you. :)

      Reply

  4. mary beth
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

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

    Reply

    • Emily
      Jan 17, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

      Maybe it is supposed to be cooked cut side up!? I have just always done it cut side down…

      Reply

  5. Jamie Walker
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    This is a great how to – inspiring me to use the remaining winter squash on top of my fridge! ;)

    Reply

  6. Lori
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

    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.

    Reply

  7. Angie @ Angie Anew
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

    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.

    Reply

    • Emily
      Jan 17, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

      Yes, it reminded me of sweet potato too! I’ll have to try the apple + maple syrup – yum!

      Reply

  8. Luv What You Do
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

    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!

    Reply

  9. Emily
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    Squash is my favorite food! Well besides dark chocolate!

    Reply

  10. Ruth
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

    Appreciation pro this article. Present are categorically tips participating in at this juncture to I choice benefit.

    Reply

  11. Trey Culleton
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 7:40 am

    Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. WordPress Seo Plugin

    Reply

 Leave a Reply