Fall brings a variety of seasonal squash to choose from. One of my favorites is Butternut Squash. Roast Butternut Squash is popular in soups, salads, or as a side dish.
How To Select
It is essential to select a Butternut Squash that is solid matte beige and free of cuts & bruises. Please pick it up and feel its weight. If it feels hard and heavy for its size, it should be perfectly ripe. Compare it to other butternut squashes in the batch, and you will be able to judge it better. If it seems hollow inside (tap on it), it is not ready to eat! Also, look for a brown stem, intact and firm to touch.
I also look for one that has a longer neck than bulb at the end. The bulb end (rounded part) is where the seeds are, and the neck is the part you can simply slice and then cube, as pictured below. I
I recommend cutting off the ends first, which gives a flat side to stand the squash up. You can use a chef’s knife to cut the outer skin off, or you can use a peeler if you prefer. I separate the bulb section from the neck. Slice & cube the neck to whatever size you choose for your recipe. I cut as close to where the seeds are for the bulb side and cube those sections. Or, you can slice in half, scoop out the seeds, and then cube.
How To Prep
It may seem like a large quantity, but you will be surprised at how many recipes you can use roasted butternut squash in during the week!
How To Roast
- Preheat oven to about 375°
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Place the cubed butternut squash in a large mixing bowl (approximately 6 cups)
- Measure and mix in 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Stir until completely coated and then place on baking sheet
- Roast for approximately 45 minutes
Component cooking allows you to cook a big batch of an ingredient that can be used in numerous recipes throughout the week. Roasted butternut squash is the perfect vegetable for component cooking because it refrigerates well after being roasted. You can add it to a cold or hot recipe. And, you can keep it in its cubed form and mash or purée it.