Roasting Winter Squash is probably the most traditional way to prepare a squash. Once you become an expert at roasting squash, its a baseline for becoming more creative with other squash recipes.
- Preheat your oven to 375° F.
- Cut your squash long ways and scoop out the seeds and loose innards.
- Place squash halves cut-side down in a baking dish with a little bit of water, then cover with foil or an oven safe lid.
- Cook the squash for 30-45 minutes until tender and can be pricked with fork.
- Drain the water from the baking dish.
- Turn the squash halves so they are cut-side up.
- Prick the squash all over with a fork and spread butter in the cavity.
- Sprinkle with spices to your choosing.
Brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg are always good options for a sweet squash. For a more savory squash, try salt & pepper along with thyme.
- Return the squash to the oven and bake (or you can switch to broil now if you wish to achieve a nice browning) for another 10-15 minutes.
If you want to make Squashed Squash (like mashed potatoes)
- After baking the squash until tender (up to Step 4 above), scoop out the flesh and discard the skins.
- Mash the the squash in a bowl with a potato masher.
- Assess the water content/consistency. Add some stock or cream to make the squash smoother.
- Season to your liking.
Some squash, when cooked, have a very thin skin which is edible; Delicata and Acorn squash are good examples.
- Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and loose innards.
- Place halves cut-side down on the cutting board, and make 1/2 inch slices. Then cut the slices into 1/2 inch pieces. (Or larger pieces, depending what you prefer.)
- Toss squash pieces in olive oil, and seasonings to your liking.
- Spread in a single layer in a roasting pan.
- Bake at 375° F until soft when pierced with fork.
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