Winter squash have hard, thick skins, seeds in the middle, and dense, firm flesh that ranges from pale yellow to deep orange. They also require longer cooking times than other vegetables. Well-known varieties of winter squash include acorn, buttercup, butternut, Hubbard, spaghetti, and turban. Winter squash are good sources of vitamins A and C, as well as riboflavin and iron.
How to Cook Squash
-Wanna know how to cook squash? It's easy with our simple step by step instructions. First, turn your squash on its side and cut off the stem end and the wide end. You wanna be sure to use a large sharpen chef's knife. In this case, a small knife just won't cut it, unintended. Next, turn your squash with its flat wide side down on your countertop and cut in half lengthwise. You can place a dish cloth on the top of your knife so it doesn't dig in to your hands when cutting. Now, scoop out the seed and middle portion of each half with a spoon. Next, brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down in a shallow baking pan and cook it 345 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until easily pierce with a knife. That's it. You've conquer the cutting and cooking of squash and you're ready to serve this beautiful autumn vegetable.
- Winter squash are available year-round but reach their peak from early fall through the winter.
- Look for winter squash that seem heavy for their size. They should have a hard rind that is free of bruises, dents, and mold.
- The hard rind on winter squash allows them to be stored longer than summer squash. They do not require refrigeration. Store winter squash in a cool, dark place for one month or more, depending on the variety.
Step 1: Remove stem end
Using a large, sturdy knife, cut off about 1 inch from the stem end of the squash.
- Insert the knife lengthwise into the center of the squash.
- Use your other hand to press the knife all the way through the squash.
- Using a large spoon, scrape the seeds and fibrous strings from each squash half.
- You may discard the seeds or save them for roasting.
- Hold a squash half at an angle on your cutting board and use a sturdy vegetable peeler to peel down its length.
- For winter squash with ridged skin, such as acorn squash, use a sharp knife rather than a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
- The squash is now ready to be chopped as desired for using in recipes.
Baking is the simplest way to cook squash because it doesn�t require peeling the squash first.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Using a sharp, sturdy knife, cut the winter squash in half. Use a large, sturdy spoon to remove the seeds.
- Place the squash halves in a shallow roasting pan, cut sides up.
- Place 1 tablespoon butter in each squash half. If desired, sprinkle each half with salt, brown sugar, fresh or dried herbs, and/or cinnamon-sugar. You may also drizzle each half with honey or maple syrup.
- Bake the squash for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender.
- Allow the squash to cool slightly after baking. Slice the squash halves into individual servings or scrape the flesh into a bowl.
Tip:If using small winter squash, each baked half may be served whole.
Spaghetti squash differs from other varieties of winter squash because it possesses a mild, less-sweet flavor and very fibrous flesh that, when removed, looks like spaghetti.
- Use a fork to loosen the fibers.
- Using a large, sturdy spoon, scrape the fibers from the squash.
- Serve spaghetti squash in place of pasta with various sauces, such as Bolognese Sauce