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In Season: Butternut Squash

Perhaps the most-loved variety of Winter squash, butternut squash is to Thanksgiving what pumpkin is to Halloween: ubiquitous. Reasonably priced and versatile, with a long shelf life, these mild, vibrantly-hued veggies are at their best during the cold days ahead. When selecting, look for squash free of bruises, feel heavy for their size, and have a matte skin. Those with wider necks and smaller bulbs will have the most flesh. Because of its rigid exterior, butternut squash has an extended shelf life, and storing it for longer — up to a month, unrefrigerated, in a cool, dark place — can bring out its sweetness. Once peeled, the vegetable will keep for up to a week if covered tightly in the fridge. Learn how to make the most of it when you keep reading.

To prepare, cut off the top and bottom, divide the squash lengthwise in half, and scoop out (and reserve) the seeds. If sautéing, remove the skin with a vegetable peeler beforehand; otherwise, it's easiest to peel squash after it's been cooked. From there, you can transform it into almost anything:

Do you like to cook with butternut squash? How do you use it?

Source: Flickr User levork

Join The Conversation
suziryder suziryder 7 years
I absolutely love butternut squash. I grew up with my mom cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds, putting it cut-side down in a 9x13 pan with some water and roasting/steaming it for about an hour, serving it with honey. That's yummy, but there are soooo many other ways to prepare it! I love love love butternut squash risotto, and the butternut squash lasagne posted here a few weeks ago is delicious! I also like roasting cubes with olive oil, salt and pepper and some diced onion for a simple side. And roasted butternut squash (roasted with diced onion and bacon) tossed with rigatoni and parmesan cheese is to DIE for.
rossy rossy 7 years
meant to say - spaghetti! Lost the *h* somewhere. LOL!
rossy rossy 7 years
I love it the way my mom taught me: - After peeling, cut into cubes (as equally-sized as possible) & steam till soft. Mash, add a tablespoon butter/margarine, nutmeg, allspice (to taste) & evaporated milk (called that in Canada - don't know the equivalent's name elsewhere). Fold together until well mixed, then serve. YUMMY! - My sister prefers spagetti squash herself because when cooked it resembles it's name - she uses her favorite sauce, adds salt, pepper & Parmesan cheese to taste. I'm getting to like it when she makes it.
Stacey-Cakes Stacey-Cakes 7 years
I love making butternut squash fries. It's such an effort, but definitely worth it.
opentypeA opentypeA 7 years
How interesting -- I'm eating some homemade butternut-squash risotto right now! :-)
doogirl doogirl 7 years
I've never cooked with it, but I'm going to give it a try!
CiaoBella2 CiaoBella2 7 years
Butternut Squash Risotto is one of my favorite dishes to make in the autumn.
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