This is aces for smaller acorn or sweet dumpling squash as well as sweet pumpkins and makes a dramatic, stand alone serving vessel.
1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F
2. Slice acorn squash in half vertically and scoop out the seeds. Score the insides of the squash a few times on each side and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle some brown sugar and a pinch of salt on the cut sides, along with a drizzle of maple syrup if you'd like it a bit sweeter.
3. Place the halves, cut side up in a baking dish with 1/4 cup of water at the bottom of it. Bake for 1 hour, then check for tenderness; the flesh should be quite soft and the tops browned. Check again at 10 minute intervals until they reach desired doneness.
4. Let the halves cool slightly and serve as-is, cut-side up, with a fork to scoop out the deliciousness.
Cubed or sliced roasted squash
This is simply divine with pumpkin, turban, butternut, speckled pup or kabotcha varieties.
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 slice into even thickness or stack slices to cut into cubes evenly.
4. Brush or spray cubes or slices with oil, or toss in a bag with oil to evenly coat all sides.
5. Place slices or 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.
To really punch up the flavor, finely chop rosemary or your other favorite herbs and sprinkle them over the squash before cooking. It's also a divine topping for pizzas or flatbreads, atop salad greens with goat cheese, or stuffed into a sandwich with leftover turkey.
Mashed or pureed squash
1. Follow the instructions for Halved, roasted squash on the savory side.
2. When the squash is cool enough to peel, simply place the flesh it in a bowl, mash it with butter and salt and serve.
It's also delicious mashed with maple syrup, orange juice, smoked paprika, salt and butter to taste, or pureed with a standard or immersion blender (make sure it's cooled first!) with milk, butter and a little bit of ginger.
Did that quash your squash quandaries or got more? Hit us up in the comments below and we'll do our best to help. By the way -- that's a peeled speckled pup squash in the picture above in case you were wondering.