How much do you know about butternut squash? Are you as intimidated as I was? Here I am, gazing wide-eyed and totally bewildered at this gourd, standing heavy and confident in front of me.
How do you cut into it? What’s underneath its waxy and smooth coat? And where do you go from there?
I was bound to find out. No, I didn’t want to buy the “pre-cut” squash, I really wanted to find out the science of this sweet gourd on my own. And surprisingly, it wasn’t as difficult as I imagined.
So there I go, I picked up the 3 pound …uh…Pea…nut shaped squash and on I went.
After thorough research and some trial and error, here are some tips and techniques on picking, peeling, cutting and roasting butternut squash.
Look for a squash that is light beige and even in color.
Make sure the stem is intact and not falling off or lose.
The squash should feel heavy for its size and weigh anywhere between 2-5 lbs.
Store in a cool, dry place. Not in the refrigerator.
Peeling, Cutting and Roasting:
1) With a large, sharp chef knife, cut both ends off the squash.
2) Stand the squash up tall, and carefully cut the squash in half.
|Beautiful color, isn’t it?|
3) Use a spoon to scoop out the stringy parts and seeds and discard.
4) Turn the squash over to stabilize and cut in half, between the narrow neck and wide part.
5) Now here’s the uh..fun part. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, peel the skin off. If the skin is too thick in some areas, use a pairing knife. Peel as much “white” as you can, but don’t worry about it, you don’t notice it when its roasted.
6) After your squash is all peeled, cut it into1 inch chunks. I find the easiest way to do this is to cut your big pieces in half, and then in quarters and then chunks.
7) Foil -line a baking sheet and place butternut squash atop. Add a healthy drizzle of olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper, fresh chopped garlic and toss to combine. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45minutes, turning halfway and until squash is tender to the fork and begins to caramelize.
Now how easy was that! I know…I was shocked too! The options with this nutty and sweet squash are endless and I can’t wait to share with you my favorite pasta dish with butternut squash later this week!
What will you be making this Holiday season with butternut squash?