Don’t you love recipes that say “peel and dice a butternut squash”? With what—an axe? Partially baking makes cutting and peeling a butternut squash so much easier. Just follow the easy steps below.
To partially bake a butternut squash, you can either cut it in half lengthwise (if you own a sharp knife, but if not just wrap the entire thing in foil, put in a casserole dish, and bake at 375º F. for 35 to 55 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. You should be able to insert a knife into the narrow part with resistance.
Cut the squash in segments crosswise and peel with a paring knife. You can cut large chunks for roasting, or small dice for adding to soups to be cooked further.
For pureed butternut squash: if you plan to use it for soup like Coconut Butternut Squash Soup with a Garnish of Greens (shown at top) or instead of pumpkin for pie, simply let the squash bake longer in the foil, until you can pierce it with no resistance, then just scoop it away from the skin, and puree. There! You're now a butternut squash expert.
Remaining photos are from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas ( HarperOne ©2014, reprinted by permission).