Just in time for fall: An easy tutorial to show you how to roast squash.
In most grocery stores this time of year, you’ll find a large bucket of various squash. This bucket can be intimidating – the squash are in various shapes and sizes and colors, and they seem almost impossible to prepare.
The truth is, these squash can be some of the easiest and most delicious things you can make during the fall. To walk by that bucket and not dig out a squash or two is a mistake!
There are a few different ways to cook squash, but the most common way is to simply oven roast it. There are two ways to do this and I’ll show you both!
Preparing the Squash
Whether you roast the squash using method one (roasted whole) or method two (cubed), you’ll need to cut it in half first.
The easiest way to do this: Center the squash on a sturdy cutting board and stab the squash directly in the center with a large chef’s knife. You don't need to go crazy with this – you should be able to just gently press the point of the knife through the squash.
Then you can simply press the knife down toward the cutting board and it will cut the squash right in half.
This might look like a dangerous method, but it’s actually much easier than trying to saw into the squash.
Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the squash and you’ll be left with two beautiful halves.
Method 1: Roasted Whole
This is the easiest way to bake the squash.
Once it is halved, place it cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with foil and poke some holes in the top so steam can escape.
Bake this sucker at 400 degrees F for about 45 minutes and then let it cool slightly.
Then scoop out the seeds and guts! You can use the flesh in any recipe that calls for squash. This method works great for squash soups and dips.
Method 2: Cubed
A more advanced way to roast squash is to peel and cube it and then roast the cubes.
You’ll need a really good veggie peeler to get through the thick squash skin.
Then you can just cube the squash flesh into 1/4-inch cubes and toss them with some olive oil and salt.
I roasted some of my cubes right next to my whole squash. They will need less time to roast, about 30 minutes total, and you should give them a stir halfway through.
The benefit of roasting cubed squash is that the squash keeps its texture a lot better. It caramelizes a bit on the outsides and is a bit more flavorful than the whole roasted squash.
Here are a few recipes you can quickly make once you’ve mastered roasting squash:
Nick loves fall and tries to eat at least one of each squash he can find. Be sure to check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on Tablespoon.