Squash! (Who knew you could cook them whole?)
I was delighted the other day to discover this really nice veggie-oriented blog which gave me unequivocal advice regarding how to deal with the kabocha squash, pumpkin, and two butternut squashes languishing on my counter from our last couple of CSA boxes. (I love the CSA, but in the latter part of the summer it just got harder and harder to keep up with the boxes…)
So: first of all, there were the directions of how to cube a butternut squash without losing any digits. I was beyond shocked how easy it was in the end. Tonight we had cubed butternut squash and apples baked in a casserole dish with spices and a little orange juice for about an hour at 375. So amazingly easy, but delicious. There’s another squash on the counter still; I will dive into that one too without fear.
Then there was the one which told me I really could just stick a whole squash or pumpkin into the oven and bake it for an hour or so, let it cool, and then peel off the skin, dig out the guts, and, well, whatever. The kabocha squash was so lovely and sweet that I could have just munched the whole damn thing standing by the counter, and the pumpkin gave me a really serious bunch of nice fleshy squash that I can make pies or purees or whatever out of.
Just a brief note that I don’t think the author of that blog mentioned: I had a feeling that cooking a squash this way meant you really couldn’t use the seeds for roasting, that they would somehow get too soft or something, but I figured I’d try it anyway. Turns out I was right: they sort of turned into popcorn in the oven, and stayed tough and not very good, and also scattered all over the in oven as they popped open. Sort of a disconcerting popping cracking sound…so if you want to roast the seeds, choose another method of preparation.
But that’s my only conceivable complaint with the method–it worked beautifully, and was incredibly hands-off and easy. Next weekend: the other butternut and pumpkin!