I realized after Sunday’s post that I should share more about cooking with squash, more specifically, how to prep it. Going from a whole squash to peeled and diced cubes can seem a bit daunting, but it’s actually not that difficult.
One tip that I picked up along the way is to put the whole squash in the microwave and cook on high for about 4-5 minutes. Once it’s cool enough to handle, it should be just soft enough to cut through easily with a large knife. Make sure your knife is sharp and that you have a stable cutting surface. This is not the time to use a wobbly, warped cutting board. Safety first!
For a large butternut squash, cut in half widthwise so you separate the narrower top part from the more bulbous bottom part. For smaller squash, like acorn, just cut in half lengthwise. Unless you’re using a kabocha squash, you’ll want to peel it. I like using a vegetable peeler. Then, cut each half in half again. Scoop out the seeds and stringy goop from the middle, and then proceed to cut the squash into whatever size and shape you need for your recipe.
For a simple side dish, just cut into 1/2 wedges, drizzle with olive oil, and bake until caramelized and tender. For soups, you might prefer to cut into smaller cubes before cooking.