Most winter squash have tough, hard skins. It is easier to cook them with the skin on.
- Wash the skin and cut squash in half lengthwise or in 1-inch rings. If squash is too tough to cut, microwave or bake for a few minutes until squash is warm to the touch and soft enough to cut.
- Remove seeds and stringy fibers with a spoon. Save seeds for roasting later! Cover and refrigerate seeds for up to 1 day.
- Cook squash. The squash flesh should be easily pierced by a fork when done.
- Microwave (shortest cooking time). Place squash cut side down on a microwave-safe dish with 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Cook on HIGH, checking for doneness every few minutes.
- Bake at 350 to 425 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil for easier clean up. For a “roasted” flavor, rub squash with a little vegetable oil and cook uncovered. For a “steamed” texture, add ½ cup water to the pan and cover with foil. Check for doneness after about 45 minutes. Larger squash may take longer to cook.
- Season cooked squash with your favorite spices. For a “sweet” flavor, try cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or ginger. For a “savory” flavor, use garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, parsley or oregano.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.