Small types of squash can be baked whole. They can be wiped clean, placed on a
baking sheet or in a roasting pan, and baked at 350F to 375F. For 30
to 40 minutes per pound. I prefer to cut out a lid, remove the seeds
and fibers, and brush the inside with butter or oil before baking.
Check the squash about 15 minutes before you think it will be done so
that it does not collapse. This is particularly important if you want
to fill it with soup or stew.
All types of squash can also be baked in pieces. Brush the flesh very lightly with
oil and bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Test with a fork or
sharp knife. Baked squash can be eaten as is, with butter and herbs or
salt and pepper, or it can be treated like parboiled squash and cooled
slightly, peeled, and used in another simple vegetable recipes. Squash
prepared this simple and easy way retains more of its vitamins and minerals than when
it is boiled.
The quickest and simple cooking way to prepare squash is to cook it in the microwave. This
method also retains the maximum amount of nutrients.
Small, whole squash can be microwaved on high for 6 to 10 minutes. Be
sure to pierce them several times with a sharp fork to prevent them
from exploding. I prefer to cut out a lid, remove the seeds and fibers,
and brush the inside with a little oil or butter. They do not need to
be pierced if the lid is left slightly ajar. Let the squash stand
several minutes before stuffing or servings.
Larger types of squash can be cut up, placed in a microwaveable dish, covered
with plastic microwave wrap, vented, and microwaved on high for 4 to 5
minutes. Let stand 3 to 4 minutes before uncovering.
Plain boiled squash is basically uninteresting. Some
simple cooking vegetable recipes call for
parboiling, though, and very thick-skinned squash is much easier to
peel after being parboiled.
Place the cut up unpeeled squash in a saucepan of boiling salted water
to cover. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat, until the skin is easily
pierced with a sharp knife. The time will depend on the types of
squash, but begin checking after 10 minutes. Drain well, cool, and
peel. Cut the squash into whatever size or shape the simple vegetable
recipes call for.
All types of squash can be oven steamed or steamed over simmering
water. To oven steam, preheat the oven to 375F. Place the squash
halves - acorn squash, butternut squash, delicata squash, spaghetti
squash and so on - cut side down in a baking pan. Add about 1/4 inch
water. Bake, uncovered, until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the
steamer and continue with the simple vegetable recipes.
To steam over simmering water, place the types of squash, cut side
down, in a steamer basket or a colander. Steam, covered, for 20 to 25
minutes. Remove from the steamer and continue with the simple cooking vegetable
recipes. Pieces of larger squash can be steamed in the same way.