How to roast butternut squash
October 28th, 2010
08:30 AM ET
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Yup - we read the comments, and noted this while we were perusing yesterday's Five Tips on Cooking Fall Squash:

"Can you post how to roast an butternut squash, I have only every cooked in a pan of water until the meat is soft. Roasting sounds yummy." - ksbradley21

It is, indeed, and we're nothing if not helpful. As Chef Tony Conte says, "The heat brings out the natural sugars, makes the color more intense and makes the flesh much easier to work with or to make into a purée."

Here's how.

Halved butternut squash

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

2. On a cutting board, carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. Make sure to trim off any hard stem parts.

*Update – A Twitter follower asks, "It is cutting it that is always the tricky part.....ideas?"

Yes. Slice off the top and the bottom so it sits flat on a secured cutting board. Rest it on the widest end, and using a heavy knife, slice down vertically. If you face resistance, use a mallet - ideally rubber - to tap gently on the tops of both sides of the blade. Work as slowly as you need to.

3. Use a spoon to scrape out innards. Guts and seeds can be composted or discarded, but butternut and acorn squash seeds are delicious roasted on a cooking sheet with a little oil and salt.

4. Prick the flesh with a fork, brush or spray all surfaces lightly with oil, sprinkle the cut side with a little salt and place face-down on a cookie sheet.

5. Roast for 40-50 minutes until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.

6. Once it's cook enough to handle, peel off the skin, then chop, cube or mash and serve.

Hint: We like ours with a little bit of melted butter, Kosher salt, brown sugar and coriander. We also add grated Parmesan if we're feeling wacky.

Cubed butternut squash

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

2. Peel the squash using a vegetable peeler. For stubborn spots, stabilize the squash on a cutting board and carefully remove with a paring knife.

3. Cut the squash into 1" thick rounds, remove guts and seeds with a spoon, and then stack slices to cut into cubes of even thickness.

4. Brush or spray cubes with oil, or toss in a bag with oil to evenly coat all sides.

5. Place cubes on a cookie sheet, sprinkle lightly with salt and roast 20-25 minutes until fork-tender and the edges are brown, then serve immediately.

Got any other cooking queries? We're here to help. Post them in the comments and we'll do our best to delicious up your kitchen life.

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Filed under: Cooking • Fall Vegetables • From the Comments • Help Desk • How To • Make • Roasting • Squash • Techniques & Tips • Vegetables

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