Magazine article Sunset

Five Basic Ways to Cook Winter Squash

Magazine article Sunset

Five Basic Ways to Cook Winter Squash

Article excerpt

First, cut winter squash open to make halves, cut tops from small squash, or cut larger squash into slabs or chunks. For big, thick squash, use a heavy knife and, if needed, tap the top of the knife with a flat mallet to drive the knife through the squash.

Scoop out squash seeds and discard or save to roast. Peel squash or not, depending on how it will be used. Use a vegetable peeler to pare skin from uncooked squash or scoop cooked squash from the skin. Rinse the squash and cook in one of the following ways, keeping in mind that the thickness of the squash walls, rather than the squash's overall dimensions, influences cooking time the most.

Season the cooked squash with salt, pepper, and, if desired, butter or extra-virgin olive oil, or use the plain flesh as an ingredient in other dishes.

Bake. Lay unpeeled squash halves or slabs cut side down, or small whole squash with tops in place, in a single layer in a nonstick (or lightly oiled) pan. Bake in a 375 deg. oven until squash is very tender when pierced, 45 minutes to 1 hour. …

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