How To’sday: How to Peel & Cut Up a Butternut Squash
Butternut Squash is a rather new ingredient in my culinary arsenal. Having really discovered its magic last fall when I cooked up a giant bath of Butternut Squash Soup, I’ve since been quite fascinated it. Harvested in mid- to late-fall, these squash can store unrefrigerated for months, which makes them an ideal winter staple.
I’ve seen this squash for sale in the produce section, pre-peeled and cubed. Like most pre-cut fruits and vegetables, it is wildly more expensive to buy it that way than to buy the squash whole. Plus, it requires refrigeration and will quickly go bad if not used. But it doesn’t take long to go from a whole squash to a beautiful mound of orange cubes ready for cooking, and without much special equipment. You can totally do this.
Here’s how it’s done:
1. Collect your equipment! You’ll need a cutting board, a sharp knife, a vegetable/carrot peeler, and a spoon.
2. Chop both ends off of the squash. You’ll want to chop at least half an inch off of each.
3. Use the vegetable peeler to peel the rind off of the squash. You should peel off enough that the orange flesh is visible, removing all of the yellow inner-rind.
4. Once the squash is peeled, cut it in half lengthwise.
5. Use the spoon to scrape out the seeds and pulp from the cavity of each half of the squash. Pretend for a moment that it’s Halloween and that you’re carving a pumpkin!
6. Turn each half of the squash over so it is flat-side down on the cutting board and rotate them ninety degrees. Cut the squash into segments about 3/4″ wide.
7. Working with about six sections at a time, slice the segments in the opposite direction, again with each cut about 3/4″ inch apart.
8. If any pieces are too large, cut them in half. All pieces should be roughly the same size.
And voila! Fresh-cut butternut squash, straight from its natural long-term storage into your dinner.
What’s your favorite way to use butternut squash?