How do I choose the perfect butternut squash?
It is important to select a butternut squash that is solid matte beige and free of cuts & bruises. Pick it up and feel its weight. If it feels hard and heavy for its size, it should be perfectly ripe. Compare to other butternut squashes in the batch and you will be able to judge it better. If it seems like it is hollow inside (tap on it) , it is not ready to eat! Also, look for a stem that is brown, 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 cut off the ends first, which gives a flat side to stand the squash up. I then use a chef's knife to cut the outer skin off. You can also use a peeler if you prefer. The I separate the bulb section from the neck. Simply slice & cube the neck to whatever size you prefer for your recipe. For the bulb side, I cut as close to where the seeds are and them cube those sections. Or, you can slice in half, scoop out the seeds, and then cube.
How to roast butternut squash?
- 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 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Stir until completely coated and then place on baking sheet
- Roast for approximately 45 minutes
When finished cooking, you can measure out the amounts needed for your recipe and get cooking!
- Roasted Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Pear & Pecan
Or, simply eat as is!!