Are you overwhelmed by the thought of cutting into a hefty and tough-skinned winter squash? Are they piling up from your CSA or are you avoiding them at the market because they are just too much work?
It turns out they are incredibly easy to cook. Grab your biggest knife and a stable surface, cut the winter squash in half, scrape the seeds out, fill a roasting dish with about an inch of water, put the squash cut side down and roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until you can puncture the skin with a fork. Done. You can peel the skin off, scoop out the flesh, or even eat the skin (technically you can eat the skin of all of them, but some taste better – delicata and kabocha are delicious).
This water roasting method is just so simple! You can do it with any type of winter squash – butternut, kabocha, red kuri, delicata, the list goes on. The water roasted flesh is ready to eat without any additions, or you can simply puree it and add stock to make soup or smash it with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a simple mash. Winter squash are full of nutrients – vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and manganese, even a little folate, omega-3 fatty acids, thiamin, copper, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, niacin and copper – a great addition to any meal.
Now is the season. Pick the heaviest and steer clear of blemishes and soft spots, as they will go bad quickly. If it’s a good one, they can last for a long time, up to 6 months.
If you are feeling adventurous – check out this roundup of butternut squash recipes. They look amazing and in many of these recipes you can switch out the butternut squash for other varieties.