Squash, Winter (Acorn, Buttercup, Butternut, Spaghetti) and Pumpkin
Winter squash have hard, thick skins and seeds. The deep yellow to orange flesh is firmer than that of summer squash and therefore requires longer cooking. The hard skin protects the flesh and allows it to be stored longer than summer squash.
How to Buy
Choose squash that are heavy in relation to size, with good yellow-orange color and hard, tough rinds with no soft spots.
How to Prepare
Wash squash. To bake-Cut each squash lengthwise in half; remove seeds and fibers. To boil or steam-Peel squash if desired. Cut into 1-inch slices or cubes.
How to Cook Conventionally
Bake: Place squash halves, cut sides up, in ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle cut sides with salt and pepper. Dot with butter or margarine. Pour water into dish until 1/4 inch deep. Cover and bake in 400° oven 30 to 40 minutes, in 350° oven about 40 minutes, in 325° oven about 45 minutes, or until tender.
Boil: Slices or cubes-covered 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Steam: Slices-covered 12 to 15 minutes. Cubes-covered 7 to 10 minutes or until tender.
How to Microwave
For whole squash except spaghetti-Pierce with knife in several places to allow steam to escape. Place on microwavable paper towel. Microwave uncovered about 5 minutes or until squash feels warm to the touch. Cut in half; remove seeds. Arrange halves, cut sides down, in shallow dish. Microwave 5 to 8 minutes or until tender. Let stand 5 minutes. For whole spaghetti-Pierce with knife in several places to allow steam to escape. Place on microwavable paper towel. Microwave uncovered 18 to 23 minutes, turning once, until tender. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut in half; remove seeds and fibers.
How to Store
Keep squash in cool, dark place for a month or more, depending on the variety. Refrigerating is necessary.