~recipe & photo updated & reposted 2012~
~more recently updated recipes~
2005 Original Post: Lots of squash a-cookin' here! Here is my number one tip for roasting winter squash, make good use of the oven and dishwasher by cooking two, not one, butternut squash at a time. In the Recipe Box, recipes calling for pre-cooked squash are marked with a Watch for recipes calling for cooked squash, marked with this , watch for it.
Tonight's culinary question is what made two squash turn out so very different? I'm stymied about what might be the source of the differences, if anyone cares to chime in!
Both butternut squash were purchased on the same day from the same bin and had been stored the same, on the counter looking all healthful and fall-wholesome. Both had the same appearance on the outside. But my goodness, once split open, what a difference:
One was a somber yellow color, the other a festive orange.
The seeds of one were tiny buttons, the other tough carcasses.
And after roasting, the differences were still more magnified:
The skin on one browned and puffed as if the flesh inside lacked moisture while the other's remained smooth, almost as if the interior were uncooked (it was fine).
Turned over, the color difference observed before roasting was now x10.
The taste difference was remarkable, the puffy pale one watery and flavorless, the orange firm one full of life and energy.
2012 Update: Over the years, I've roasted so many butternut squash and every so often, one will be a big disappointment. Oh the vagaries of Mother Nature! If you want cooked squash for using in another dish, skip the knife work and roast the squash whole, How to Roast a Whole Butternut Squash. For pretty little cubes, How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers.
RECIPE for ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Time to table: 60 minutes
4 pounds butternut squash yielded 5 cups flesh
1 butternut squash, any size
Preheat oven to 400F. For easy clean-up, line a baking sheet with foil.
Wash squash and slice the squash in half length-wise. If it's too dense to cut into, put it into the microwave and cook for 1 minute, then it should cut easily. Try to cut a flat surface to place cut-side down on the baking sheet, this may mean not "exactly" cutting the squash in half, at minimum, don't cut the stem in half, just put it on one half or the other. Scoop out the seeds and gunk and discard, a fork works, a grapefruit spoon works perfectly.
If you like, rub a little bit of olive oil Place cut-side down on a baking sheet. For a two-pound squash, roast about 45 minutes plus whatever time's left to preheat the oven (longer for larger squashes, less for smaller squashes), until the squash is fully cooked through. Let cool and scoop out the flesh.
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MORE FAVORITE WINTER SQUASH RECIPES
~ My Favorite Winter Squash Recipes ~
~ How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers ~
~ Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Tagine ~
~ Savory Bread Pudding with Butternut Squash, Chard & Cheddar ~
~ Steamed Butternut Squash ~
~ Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Glaze ~
~ more winter squash recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple ~
~ Chicken & Wild Rice Soup ~
~ Acorn Squash with Quinoa & Cherries ~
~ more winter squash ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005