Have you yet tried this wonderful winter squash? Its bright orange color should be an immediate indicator that it is 1. full of marvelous flavor and 2. fully nutritious – yes! Only a few years ago was I acquainted with this favorite vegetable, and there is a whole host of preparation styles that may be applied. Roast. Simmer. Sauté. Eaten by self, mashed, prepared as part of a dish or incorporated into dough and fillings…versatility is one of its most appealing traits
When ripe, Butternut Squash becomes a deeper shade of orange and richer in flavor. Real Simple advises “A shiny finish is a sign that the squash wasn’t ripe when it was picked. Look for an intact stem.”
Heavy and awkward as it can feel in hand, some may look at Butternut Squash and think “How do I cut this?”, only to pass on the vegetable without giving it a try. Like any uneven, round piece of produce, stabilizing it before cutting is the most important step. This will allow you to easily cut (or peel with a sharp vegetable peeler) away the tough outer layer, exposing the inner flesh. Below is a snapshot of my technique to cube squash that is amenable to variations of personal preference.
With a discerning eye, you will notice that I only cut the narrower part of the squash – or, the “neck,” as you might call it. This was simply for portioning. The same technique would be followed for the second half or if cutting the whole squash at once with the addition of one step: scooping out the seeds and stringy pulp.