Last Friday, Think Tasty featured some cooking advice on winter squash. If you haven’t read it, feel free to click here, read, and return. I’m a patient person. If you have read it, give yourself a gold star for being a dedicated reader.
Jane offered lots of good squash advice in her article. As opposed to Jane, winter squash is one of my favorite vegetables. During the fall and winter months, it becomes the center of my lunch menu probably every other week. Simply puréed or transformed into a soup, it provides a warm, hearty, and healthy lunch dish.
As a side dish I have cooked squash in a multitude of ways. I have served it as garlicky, roasted cubes. I have made a caramelized purée. Both of these recipes produce delightful squash dishes that bring other flavors to the table. However, sometimes we want the squash to be the center of attention, no competition with molasses or parmesan, please. And sometimes we want the cooking to be as simple as possible. For example when you’re working from home and really want squash for lunch, but it still is in the pantry uncooked.
For those occasions, I have a fabulously simple method for cooking winter squash, the butternut variety in particular. Once you try this recipe you will realize how ridiculously easy it is to make. All you need is about 2 minutes of prep time, an hour to be home while the oven is on, and however long it takes you to eat a serving. (Or two. I won’t judge. And it’s healthy anyway.)
- Butternut squash
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise.
- Place each squash half, cut side down, in a 13×9 pan. Add 1/2 inch of water. Cover tightly with foil.
- Bake for 1 hour or until a fork easily pierces the thickest part of the squash.
- Transfer squash, cut side up to a cutting board to cool for a couple minutes.
- Remove seeds with a spoon.
- Top with butter and/or sugar/honey/maple syrup.
- Scoop flesh out, and mash. Add butter, sugar, etc., if desired.
- *Removing the seeds after cooking makes for a much easier process.
- *Before topping with a sweetener, taste your squash. I find that cooking the squash in this manner brings its sweetness to the forefront.