Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fast Butternut Squash in the Microwave

Butternut squash is so easy to make in the microwave that I've never made it any other way.  I previously thought acorn squash was the best, but then I tried butternut squash and found that I preferred it's solid texture more than the acorn squash's stringy texture. 

Picking a Butternut

Butternut squash
courtesy of Philly Food
Here is a picture of a butternut squash, it has a long neck and a bulb at one end.  There are seeds and some squishy stuff at the bulb end, so I think that the neck is the best part (most food with least amount of work).  I look for squash that have a big, thick neck and a small bulb end.  This one here is a pretty good example, the flesh is solid and pumpkin-orange colored and there aren't many seeds. 

Prep the Squash

Wash your squash off thoroughly by rubbing the your hands along the surface under running water.  Yes, I know you're going to cut the skin off, but cutting through the skin into the flesh can transfer germy grossness to the inside, and you don't want that.   I make a vinegar-water solution that I spray on vegetables to wash them, but I'll tell you about that at a later date. 

Cut the squash where it changes from neck to bulb.  Take the neck and put the flat end down on the cutting board and run your knife down the sides to peel the skin off.  Cut the flesh into bite-size cubes and put them into a large, flat but tall microwave safe dish (I use a Pyrex baking dish).  Now you have to deal with the bulb end.  Scoop out the seeds and guts with a sharp-edged spoon and put the flat side down on the cutting board and run your knife down the edges to cut off the skin.  Cut it into bite-sized pieces as well and throw them into the cooking dish. 

You can also cut the squash in half the long way (as shown in the picture), scoop the seeds out, and then leave the skin on.  You would scoop the flesh out after cooking.  I've never tried it that way because I'm afraid the skin won't come off easily and then find out it would have been better to do it the other way.  Go for it!   

Seasoning and Cooking

I like squash with a bit of butter and curry seasoning, so I put about 2 teaspoons of butter on the raw pieces and sprinkle on a little curry powder.  I've tried making squash without the curry powder, but the flavor seems too bland.  Then I cover the squash with plastic wrap, leaving a small opening for it to vent.  This is why I aim for a tall-but-flat dish, I don't want the plastic wrap touching my food as it cooks.  Then I cook it on high power for 15-20 minutes.  Start with 15 minutes, it's likely that it will be done.  I only add a little sprinkle of salt at the table. 

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!